Bev Oda: Penalty for smoking in a hotel room among expenses MP charged to taxpayers -

Bev Oda: Penalty for smoking in a hotel room among expenses MP charged to taxpayers


Sean Kilpatrick/CP

OTTAWA — A penalty of $250 U.S. for smoking in a hotel room was among the expenses charged to taxpayers by Bev Oda, Canada’s former minister of international co-operation.

The then-minister was dinged in 2010 for smoking in a hotel room during a trip to Washington, D.C.

Oda had been in the U.S. capital for a conference organized by maternal health advocates.

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Her department confirms she expensed the fee, but paid it back two years later following a review of all her expense claims.

That review was in ordered in April after The Canadian Press revealed a number of extravagant expenses on a trip to London in 2011, including a $16 glass of orange juice.

Oda resigned from cabinet and the House of Commons in July.

The issue of her expenses had become a thorn in the Conservative government’s side, with backbench Tory MPs reporting that they heard about her high-flying ways on the doorstep more often than any other issue.

Cabinet ministers are required to publicly disclose their spending on travel and hospitality.

The files made public for Oda show that expense reports for several trips during her five years as international co-operation minister have been amended.

But the details of why they were changed aren’t posted to the website.

Officials in her department say some — but not all — of the amendments in her expense claims are the result of repayments.

A total dollar figure for the amount she was forced to repay the public purse has never been revealed, but her office insists that every questionable expense was repaid.

Many had questioned why Oda spent so long in cabinet, given her spending habits. During the London trip in 2011, she billed taxpayers for the cost of rejecting one five-star hotel in London, England and rebooking at a swankier establishment at more than double the rate. She also hired a luxury car and driver at an average cost of nearly $1,000 a day.

In 2006, she used limousines to ferry her to and from the Juno Awards ceremony in Halifax, racking up $5,475 in bills.

When the expenses were criticized in the House of Commons, she said she had reimbursed the taxpayer $2,200 of the bill.

A year later, Oda billed taxpayers more than $1,200 for another limousine ride that took her to both a government event and a party activity.

Besides the spending scandals, Oda left a mixed legacy behind at CIDA.

Some praised her ability to focus the agency’s work and more directly target aid, especially in making the decision to untie assistance, meaning goods could be sourced from wherever they were most cost efficient.

But others criticized her approach to partnerships with the non-governmental sector, arguing that those relationships had become politicized.

She was replaced in the post by Julian Fantino, who had been leading the government’s efforts on the F-35 fighter jet file.

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Bev Oda: Penalty for smoking in a hotel room among expenses MP charged to taxpayers

  1. Okay right wingers……. defend this: 1) she smokes, which is pretty much like eating dog poo…. 2) she smoked where she wasn’t supposed to (BREAKING THE RULES)…. 3) She got someone else to pay the penalty money (SHIRKING).

    I thought tories were all about hard work and integrity and paying your own damn way and so on. What nonsense.

    • OBAMBAM SMOKES. Does he smoke in the white house?

      • Um…sweet pea….he isn’t a Canadian politico. Why bring up a foreign politician over whom the Canadian electoreate has no say? Put your red herring away, there’s a good girl.

      • If you’re Canadian, our schools have failed.

  2. Dogs come in all stripes. There are big dogs, there are well groomed dogs, there are handsome dogs, and there are little black pudgy really ugly dogs.

    • Dog isn’t the word I used to describe Oda, but I don’t think we’re supposed to use the ‘b’ word.

    • Calling Oda a dog is an insult to dogs…

    • No dog, Oda. Roy Orbison in drag maybe, but no dog.

  3. Why hasn’t anything been done about Oda smoking in her office?

    • ‘cus shooting her would be illegal

  4. We’re so proud of her, here in Durham…

  5. I guess the next occupant could not stand to smell the oda.

  6. Unreal.

    Who approves the expenses of Cabinet ministers? That’s the next person that should be fired.

  7. This broad was a real piece of work, wasn’t she? Unreal. Who had the poor judgement to choose her to represent Canadians in a ministerial position?

  8. Is “Oda” a ministerial form of “Odious”? Or an affectionate abbreviation for “Malodorous”?

    Either way, she looks as though she’s spent enough time with her snout and forelegs in the public trough, stinking up the air. She and whoever approved her expenses should be turfed, and without any golden handshakes.

    • My vote is for the affectionate abbreviation – like “Katya” is for “Ekaterina” – that is how I’m going to think of “Oda” from now on.

  9. Laughing as I note that when this fine was first announced, I said on these comment boards that she prolly expensed it. Had no idea I was correct in my sarcasm. No depths too low for Tories.

  10. Oda is a disgrace. She is ignorant, banal, and is clearly in politics for the perks and the low work load. People who care about others (and taxpayers money) would have either (1) Smoked outside (2) Used a nicotine patch.

  11. Good riddance, I can’t believe the nerve to charge tax payers for her breaking the law.

  12. What an embarrassment! How did such a presumptuous twit ever succeed as a politician? The cynic in me thinks that the optics of her gender and ethnicity were the key to her success and convinced others who should have known better to hold their nose and continue support and associate with her. I hope they learn something form all this.