Disgraced ex-Durham MP, Bev Oda, begins her private life today, after a scandalous public life defined by profligacy, scandal, inefficiency and controversy. Canadians offer their final word on the former minister of International Co-operation and MP for Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party of Canada.
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”?
“We CAN look after each other better than we do today” and “Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity.” - the late NDP Leader, Jack Layton
Emotional by nature, I am. Very. But this is the first time I’ve blogged with tears streaming down my 40-year old black-male cheeks. I’m bawling because, somewhere in this city I now call home, an extra-ordinary woman is pregnant and living on the streets. Annie Pootoogook is her name.
As I blog, I can’t hold back the tears. Until now, I thought I knew Annie. We were together at the Occupied Ottawa protest encampment at Confederation Park last fall. One of the finest of my Canadian moments, that one was. The moment I received the final invitation to abandon the comfort of my immigrant-world. The invitation to engage, without the slightest shred of fear, with the politics of my adopted country.