Defeated Foreign Affairs Minister Laurence Cannon has bid a heartfelt and sometimes humorous farewell to what he called an “elite group” within the federal civil service.
Cannon, one of four ministers in the Conservative government who lost their seats in last week’s election, paid tribute to hundreds of employees at the Foreign Affairs Department for their work protecting Canada’s international interests.
Cannon cited events in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria to note how the “strength of the democratic instinct can sometimes surprise us” _ before adding a joke about voters in his own Quebec riding of Pontiac.
Cannon quipped that no one has ever thought of him as “Maniwaki Gadhafi.”
Cannon also drew a laugh from his former staff at the Pearson Building on Sussex Drive when he joked that briefings are rarely brief and that “secret intelligence” is often neither secret nor intelligent.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to name a new cabinet, including a replacement for Cannon at Foreign Affairs, as early as next week.