Oda out

After eight years, the Conservative minister responsible for CIDA quits cabinet and leaves her Durham seat

As seems to have been the first to report, International Cooperation Minister Bev Oda will step down at the end of the month. Here is the official statement.

Today, the Honourable Beverley J. Oda announced that she advised the Prime Minister two weeks ago that she will be stepping down as the Member of Parliament for the federal riding of Durham effective on July 31, 2012.

First elected in 2004, Beverley Oda was named as the official opposition critic for Canadian Heritage. In 2006, she was named as the Minister for Canadian Heritage in the newly elected Conservative government. She was then named as the Minister for International Cooperation in 2007. Minister Oda is the longest serving Minister responsible for CIDA, the Canadian government‘s agency responsible for its international aid and development efforts.

“For over eight years, it has been an honor and privilege to have served the constituents in Clarington, Scugog and Uxbridge. As the Minister for International Cooperation, I have had the opportunity to witness the hardships of the worlds most vulnerable peoples and have witnessed the great compassion of Canadians for those in need,“ said Bev Oda. “I am grateful for the support of my staff and colleagues in the House of Commons and Senate. I wish to express my appreciation to the Prime Minister and his Cabinet for their outstanding leadership.“

Archived coverage of Ms. Oda’s eventful time in cabinet is here.

The Prime Minister has released a statement in response.

“On behalf of the government, I would like to thank Bev Oda for her hard work and dedication in representing the constituents of Durham, and for her many accomplishments in the ministry. Bev advised me two weeks ago that she had made the decision to stand down as the Member of Parliament for Durham.

“Bev has made a significant contribution to her riding, her province and her country since her election to Parliament in 2004.

“Under Bev’s guidance, Canada has led a significant initiative to save the lives of mothers, children and newborns in the developing world. Bev has also promoted accountability and effectiveness for Canada’s aid programs and has championed high-profile efforts to respond to humanitarian tragedies in Haiti, Pakistan and the Horn of Africa. Through Bev’s leadership, Canada has also met, ahead of schedule, its commitment to double aid to Africa. This is a record of which to be proud.

“On behalf of, and together with her friends and colleagues, Laureen and I offer our best wishes to Bev as she leaves Parliament to move on to other challenges and opportunities.”