Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s minister of international co-operation, Bev Oda, officially retires today. A sigh of relief! What a financial burden to the Canadian taxpayer the Conservative MP for the Ontario riding of Durham has been.
Oda earned the dubious honor of poster girl for misspending by Tory ministers: $1,000 a day limo rides; $665 per night stint at London’s Savoy hotel in 2011, and $16 orange juice. And, she “claimed more than $400,000 in travel and hospitality expenses during her time as Canada’s international co-operation minister”?
These figures are the defining cornerstones of Oda’s legacy as a member of the Harper Government. The Globe and Mail’s John Ibbitson concludes:
Oda is leaving politics after having struck a serious blow to Stephen Harper’s credibility as a careful caretaker of public funds. The Prime Minister’s challenge now is to undo the damage, starting with a cabinet shuffle, but by no means ending there.
And yet, a financial burden, the minister responsible for the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), will remain in private life. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has calculated that “Oda’s annual Parliamentary pension will instantly start at $52,183, adding up to $701,464 by the time she reaches the age of 80.” The pension should cover about 43,841 glasses of $16 orange juice.
But if you thought that Oda was contrite for her financial maleficence, or grateful for the unearned comfortable retirement package, think again. She’s actually giving us the political middle finger. Earlier today, she told the CBC Network on Evan Solomon’s Power and Politics program that she’s had no regrets about charging taxpayers $16 orange juice.
I really hope Oda doesn’t end up in the Senate like they all do.
Anyways, so long!