Baird, who quit cabinet on Feb. 2 to pursue a career outside of politics, was on hand as the Queen officially reopened Canada's newly refurbished high commission in London following years of renovations.
Baird's name and former title are even on the plaque commemorating the reopening, dated Feb. 19. Baird was replaced as foreign affairs minister on Feb. 9 by Rob Nicholson, the former defence minister.
Gordon Campbell, high commissioner to the U.K., also greeted the Queen and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, at the event.
The NDP's Paul Dewar — long a nemesis of Baird's during the daily question period — had a field day with the issue Thursday in the House of Commons.
"Today many Canadians are asking themselves: 'Who's the real foreign affairs minister?'" he said. "Would the real foreign affairs minister please stand up and explain why John Baird was playing minister in London?"
Nicholson sprang to Baird's defence.
"I am very proud that the member for Ottawa West-Nepean, a privy councillor and an outstanding foreign affairs minister, was there to open this house on behalf of Canada," he said.
Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Johanna Quinney also said in an email that it was "entirely appropriate that he represent the government at the event."
Baird paid his own way for his trip to the U.K. to attend the Canada House festivities, his former spokesman, Rick Roth, said on Twitter.
"He took a keen interest in the project from the beginning," Roth tweeted. "Quite the honour to see it conclude in the presence of Her Majesty."
Roth added that the plaque featuring Baird's name and former title was commissioned before his former boss had quit.
"Her Majesty was aware he was no longer the FM," he said.
Nonetheless Baird's presence at Canada House sparked some social media ridicule.
"John Baird is going to knight himself before he gets back home," one wag quipped on Twitter.
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