Joe Oliver in Turkey for G20 meeting during election campaign

Joe Oliver, the finance minister who's running for re-election in the Toronto riding of Eglinton-Lawrence, has been criticized for being largely missing from the Conservative campaign trail. Turns out he's in Turkey for a G20 economic meeting.

Oliver cancels appearances, remains quiet during campaign, prompting 'Where's Joe?' campaign online

Finance Minister Joe Oliver is silhouetted as he addresses the Australia-Canada Economic Leadership Forum in Vancouver in July. Oliver is absent from the election campaign while attending a G20 meeting in Turkey. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Joe Oliver, the current finance minister who's running for re-election in the Toronto riding of Eglinton-Lawrence, has been criticized for his absence from the Conservative campaign trail — even as figures were released showing Canada dipped into a recession for the first half of this year.

Today's new job statistics might have prompted another round of searching for comment from the minister. (Tony Clement, his cabinet colleague responsible for the Treasury Board, issued a statement instead, on the government's behalf.)

But the lost minister has been found — he's in Turkey for a G20 economic meeting.

Oliver issued a statement Thursday confirming that he was taking part in the G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors to promote collaboration "during this time of heightened global fragility." The two-day meeting in Ankara begins Friday.

"During a period of global economic uncertainty, including a dramatic decline in oil prices and market turmoil in emerging economies, it is important that Canada and our G20 partners remain committed to policies that will create jobs and economic growth. I will be meeting with my G20 colleagues this weekend in Turkey, as we work together to achieve these objectives," the statement said.

"Canada plays a central role in G20 discussions as co-chair of the working group responsible for economic growth strategies. In this capacity, we will continue to work with G20 members to strengthen their action plans to support stronger global economic performance."

Oliver's predecessor Jim Flaherty left the campaign trail in 2008 for a similar meeting.

Oliver responded to the news that Canada was technically in a recession on Tuesday with a single tweet, prompting questions online, some using the hashtag #WheresJoe on social media.

Conservative candidate Joe Oliver has been missing for much of the election campaign, prompting speculation on social media about where he might be. (Joe Johnson/Twitter)

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