Jason Kenney is getting super defensive.
After news broke this week that the Conservatives' erroneous claim about job vacancies in Canada can be chalked up to job ads posted on the online classified site Kijiji, the Employment Minister has been on a one man mission to try to salvage what little remains of his government's economic credibility.
It's not surprising Kenney is walking on eggshells.
The Kijiji data shoots a big, gaping hole in the government's jobs report released alongside the federal budget last month. It said Canada's job vacancy rate has been "increasingly steadily since 2009."
Actually, no it hasn't, according to the Parliamentary Budget Office. (And Statistics Canada.)
PBO officials told the Globe and Mail that Kijiji is "so unreliable as a job site that it can single-handedly explain away the government’s claims. With the simple removal of that one site from the search, the steep rise Ottawa flagged becomes much closer to a flat line."
Things reached a climax Thursday when Kenney took to Twitter to defend his government's credibility and lash out at critics. During his frantic 21-tweet tirade, Kenney explained that he has never cited Kijiji or online job postings as a reliable source of employment data:
1/ For the record: I have never referred to, considered or cited online ads (eg Kijiji) in discussions on labour market policies. I have— Jason Kenney (@kenneyjason) March 27, 2014
That's funny -- because just one day earlier, Kenney went on television to offer a spirited defence of why looking at Kijiji ads is important. Appearing on CTV's Power Play with Don Martin, Kenney said the site is the "classified page of the 21st century." And "statisticians are trying to get a grasp on..., you can't go to the dead tree newspaper anymore."