It could be a result of having to report on the minutia of day-to-day Parliamentary business or maybe it's a bit of mischievousness on their part: Those in the Ottawa bubble have been known to create their share of bad rumours and have erroneously amplified quiet speculation.
There's one rumour, however, that's not going away: the one about Budget 2013 being Jim Flaherty's last budget as finance minister.
[ Related: Federal budget 2013: Flaherty’s fancy foot work ]
Flaherty has consistently said that he would like to remain in the post until the books are balanced — supposedly in 2015.
But with recent events, some are suggesting he may call it quits this summer.
Those events include Flaherty's illness: In January, the veteran politician revealed that he was battling a skin disease which required him to take strong doses of a steroid laden medication. The treatment, Flaherty said, has led to side effects such as facial swelling, difficulty sleeping and weight gain.
Flaherty has also played a role in two uncharacteristic political gaffes of late.
In January, the finance minister was criticized by Federal Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson for writing a letter to the federal broadcast regulator urging them to grant a radio licence to a company in his Whitby-Oshawa riding.
And just this week, Flaherty was blasted by both the finance industry and even a fellow cabinet minister for pressuring a private sector mortgage lender to raise its interest rates.
Could all this be a sign that Flaherty is on his way out?
Last month the National Post's John Ivison wrote this:
Mr. Flaherty may pay lip-service to still being in the Finance Minister’s chair at the age of 65 but his health may yet dictate that he steps down from one of the most demanding posts in government over the summer.
He certainly didn’t sound like a man relishing the prospect of another two years in the job in the speech he gave to the Economic Club in Ottawa Wednesday. It bore all the hallmarks of a valedictory address, as he recounted old war stories from the battle against global financial collapse. “It’s been a privilege, even at the most trying times. I’ve witnessed a lot of economic history, some of it unprecedented,” he said.
On Tuesday, the Post's Andrew Coyne penned a column with the headline: "In his eighth and possibly final budget, Jim Flaherty needs to make up for the other seven."
Others publications like the Hill Times, however, suggest that despite a "major cabinet shuffle" in the offing this summer, Flaherty will stick around for Budget 2014.
Just another rumour or is there smoke to Flaherty fleeing fire?
We'll soon find out.
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