After slipping in proposed changes to undermine bargaining rights in the government's budget implementation bill, Treasury Board president Tony Clement appeared on CBC's morning radio show in Ottawa on Thursday to try and explain his move.
The radio host asked plainly about which government employees would be classified as "essential," an arbitrary designation that would block their right to collective strike action. Clement tersely responded, "look, you’re going through a speculative question and answer and I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna indulge you in that."
When asked when he would inform the public, Clement responded, "when we are ready to tell the public."
When asked whether or not essential workers would be identified as essential in advance or if the designation could be made just as employees were contemplating collective action, Clement mumbled something about "natural justice."
The host asked Clement to clarify his answer. Clement said, "nope. Next question."
The interview played out pretty negatively on social media, with streams of tweets criticizing Clement’s appearance.
Watching the feed, Clement did manage to find a handful of tweets lauding him. Despite getting into trouble in the past for his Twitter antics, Clement retweeted them - no matter how ignorant they were or unhelpful they could be as the government's go-to guy on the civil service.
Here are the ones Clement retweeted: