Canada's top diplomat likely to step down – CBC

OTTAWA, Canada – Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will step down and does not intend to stand again, CBC television reported Monday, February 2.

Baird, 45, has told Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives that he will not seek reelection in October, and could step down as soon as Tuesday, February 3, CBC said.

"He’s at the perfect age and in the perfect place to make a move," a Baird friend told the Ottawa Citizen, speaking on condition that he not be named. Baird has no job lined up at this time, the friend added.

It is another major blow for Harper's cabinet. Highly regarded Finance Minister Jim Flaherty was the first to go last year.

Some analysts had looked at Baird as a potential successor to Harper down the road.

A former environment and transport minister, Baird had been in Parliament since 2006. –