Ottawa

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.”

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