The occasion was his outspoken denunciation of the recently passed law in Russia against "gay propaganda". Indeed, Baird has lambasted a number of countries for their regressive attitude on LBGT rights, including Nigeria, Uganda, and Iran.
This week Mr. Baird spent four days touring Canada with the FM of the UAE, Sheikh Abdullah. They dropped in on a Mid-East security confab at the Munk Centre, hit the Calgary Stampede, and sat down with business bigs in BC, before releasing a joint statement on the Canada-UAE strategic agenda.
Here's the summary of gay rights in the UAE, per the Wikipedia entry for "gay rights in UAE";
So why no public denunciation of the UAE, when their record on gay rights is as bad or worse than Russia's or Iran's?
Because the UAE is a million Arabs sitting on top of the 7th largest oil reserves in the world. In other words, they've got hundreds of billions of dollars to spend!
Sucking up to people with money is becoming a Canadian specialty.
Principles are great, but as Baird obviously knows, one thing is more important.