The minister for International Cooperation, Bev Oda, MP for Durham in Ontario rose today in the House of Commons to deliver a mea culpa, but only after enduring a second day of being scorned by opposition members for transferring from one posh hotel to an even more luxurious one—and sticking taxpayers with the higher bill.
You’ve got to be pretty picky if you attend a conference at the Grange St. Paul’s Hotel in London, England and don’t find it a good enough hotel to stay at overnight.
But, apparently, the five-star Grange hotel was not up to the minister’s standards for she chose to transfer to the Savoy, an ultra-luxurious London hotel that cost more than twice as much as the Grange.
Ms. Oda then tried to stick the taxpayers with the bill for the extra cost for the Savoy and the cancellation fee for leaving the Grange—and a whopping $16 she paid for a single glass of orange juice at the Savoy.
Doesn’t get much tackier than that.
As reported by the Globe and Mail:
Eight hours after the expenses of the London trip were revealed by The Canadian Press, Ms. Oda’s office announced she had reimbursed the fee difference between the two hotels, as well as the cancellation fee at the first one. She also paid back the cost of a $16 glass of orange juice.”
We then got the usual mealy-mouthed words from Conservative House Leader Peter Van Loan, who said, “Our government believes very much that all ministers must respect taxpayer dollars. The minister, of course, has repaid the costs in question.”
NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair described Ms. Oda’s reimbursement as “more damage control than an honest application of the rules.”
I’m with the Official Opposition Leader on this one.
It seems that hardly a week goes by without some Conservative cabinet minister giving us reason to shake our head. Perhaps it’s time for Prime Minister Harper to shake up cabinet and move some of these dullards out.