NEWS
09/02/2015 18:56 EDT | Updated 09/02/2016 01:12 EDT

Joe Oliver mocked online amid bad economic news

Tory candidate and current Finance Minister Joe Oliver has largely been missing from the Conservative party's campaign trail. Oliver — who is running for re-election in the Ontario riding of Eglinton-Lawrence — cancelled scheduled speeches at two Toronto clubs this week and last, including one at a men-only club following criticism on social media. 

Oliver remained fairly mum on Tuesday after news broke that Canada dipped into a recession in the second quarter. Oliver addressed the news with a single tweet defending the economy.

"GDP increased in 2nd quarter by almost $4 billion — from beginning of April to end of June, a result of a buoyant month of June, up 0.5%," he tweeted. 

Fellow Conservative candidate Erin O'Toole spoke about the recession on behalf of the party on Tuesday's episode of CBC News Network's Power & Politics and Wednesday's edition of CBC Radio's Metro Morning.

NDP members have started calling him "Joe Where?" 

All of this has led the internet to wonder where Joe Oliver is.

Some likened Oliver to another famous bespectacled man who disappears from time to time …

… while others just took the opportunity to liken Oliver to Orville Redenbacher, the popcorn guy.

Even Stephen Harper's chinchilla, Charlie (who has its own parody Twitter account) had something to say about it.

Some tied the disappearance to the government's budget cuts.

More than a few people thought they had found Oliver.

Patricia Best, a spokeswoman for Oliver's campaign, said he has been busy with constituents and voters.

"Joe Oliver has been out in the riding knocking on doors and meeting voters several times a day since the beginning of the campaign," she told the Canadian Press in a written statement. 

Humour columnist Stephen Lautens thought he spotted Oliver on Harper's new campaign plane. 

But some just got straight-up sassy with him.