Upon further review


International Development Minister Bev Oda rose this afternoon in response to a question from Bob Rae and informed the House of the following.

Mr. Speaker, the expenses are unacceptable, should never have been charged to taxpayers. I have repaid the costs associated with the changing of hotels, and I unreservedly apologize.

Various Conservatives gave her a standing ovation for this.

Meanwhile, Joe O’Connor investigates the possibilities and politics of expensing lunch.

“If the politician is being excessively cheap, like expensing a Timbit or a Chicken McNugget, people will freak out, or excessively expensive, like an all-frills dinner with a steak and a bottle of wine — or a $16 glass of orange juice — people are going to notice and you are going to get killed for it,” says Chris Eby, a senior consultant with Navigator, a Toronto public relations firm. “If you are somewhere in the middle, say, like a $10 lunch, and it’s not out of whack in terms of what average people might be spending, then people don’t get upset.”


Upon further review

  1. Makes me think of one of my favourite cheap Trudeau stories; where he supposedly picked up the tab at some meeting and quizzed people on who had the extra peas etc., if you’re going to be cheap do it in style…like Dingwall…his gum by god!
    Conversely if you’re going to put it on someone elses tab, go big. Like the Financial admiinistrator on the reserve i lived on who charged a car rental fee to the band for a day – only it was for a Ferrari or something like that. That’s classy. Got him fired but everyone had a good laugh about it.
    Wonder why Oda couldn’t pull it off?

  2. A standing ovation for apologizing – a year after the discretion – an apology that came only because she was caught – only after the boss read her the riot act. My goodness how honourable she is!!

    If your 5 year old breaks the rules and finally apologizes after being cornered with no way out – would you applaud???

    This is utterly pathetic. It would have been more respectful to simply nod to her apology and carry on with new business – not applaud it like it’s a tearful admission on Dr Phil.

    • The house is getting more and more tribal by the day. It wouldn’t surprise me to see something similar happen between the libs and dippers eventually. No one seems to have a streak of independence anymore, or a backbone…must say the ndp guy switching to independent impressed me, and i don’t agree with his stance on LGs either. Everything else he said was long overdue…hope there’s more of this from all parties. Maybe they’ll realize the house belongs to us as much as their parties.

  3. I believe she still has to repay the costs of the limo used to chauffeur her both ways from her new digs to the one where the conference was held.

    To me, that’s a cost “associated with the changing of hotels”, Ms. Oda.

    You know what else might be a cost of the changing of hotels? Having an auditor go over all of your expenses now so that we can find out what *else* you’ve been charging to us when you shouldn’t have.

Sign in to comment.