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Kenney admits to disagreement with Flaherty over Rob Ford comments

Minister of Employment and Social Development Jason Kenney responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, December 9, 2013.

Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney insisted Saturday he has a good working relationship with Finance Minister Jim Flaherty despite reports the two had a verbal altercation in the House of Commons over Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

According to a CBC report, Mr. Flaherty, a long-time friend of the Ford family, confronted his colleague with profanity about his public reproach of Mr. Ford on Nov. 19. After the heated exchange, the two were separated by four other ministers.

"Not everyone agrees with each other on everything all the time," said Mr. Kenney on CBC Radio's The House in an interview broadcast on Saturday. "There is always going to be some disagreements from time to time."

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Mr. Kenney went on to praise Mr. Flaherty's record as finance minister, saying: "I'll defend him any day of the week. I'm proud to be associated with Jim Flaherty."

Mr. Kenney was the first Harper government cabinet minister to criticize Mr. Ford, who as mayor has been a valued ally of the federal Conservative Party. He called for the mayor's resignation, saying he "brought dishonour to public office, the office of mayor and his city."

Mr. Flaherty served in the Ontario Legislature with Mr. Ford's late father, Doug Ford Sr., in the 1990s. He has remained friends with the mayor and his brother, Toronto Councillor Doug Ford.

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