Peter Harder, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, has resigned, according to CTV. It’s relatively rare for a high-powered DM to outright resign, so certainly an opportunity for some ill-informed speculation. What was the straw that broke the camel’s back? Being passed over for the job as Privy Council Clerk? Two and half years of increasingly strident pro-Israel policy being driven out of the PMO (starting with Martin) and right over the considered advice of FA officials? Or was it the humiliation of being expected to apologize to John “Windy” Baird for doing his job and making sure Canadians got evacuated from Lebanon this summer:
Along with the evacuation bills came recriminations and an unusual demand for a written apology.
Impeccable sources say Treasury Board president John Baird was so upset by costs that spiralled well above budget that a highly respected deputy minister found his staff on the metaphorical carpet.
Even if it rarely reaches that level, tension between politicians and non-partisan officials is part of daily Ottawa life.
But what’s being talked about here, as well as being seen as indicative of current strained relations, is Peter Harder’s refusal to buckle.