Bev Oda, on the way out?

    Canadian Minister of International Cooperation Beverly Oda, along with Camps Project Coordinator for the International Organization for Migration Emmett Fitzgerald, visited former IDP camp Place Boyer while in Haiti. Oda’s meal expenses for this trip were reportedly amended without explanation. Photo by: © Roger LeMoyne/ ACDI-CIDA

    There are talks in Ottawa that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will soon make changes in his Cabinet. And reportedly topping his list for this reshuffle is his aid minister.

    The move, if it happens, won’t come as a surprise: Beverley Oda has been involved in scandal after scandal.

    In February 2011, Oda finally admitted altering a memorandum by the Canadian International Development Agency that effectively overturned funding approval for Canadian faith-based nongovernmental organization Kairos. The deed prompted calls for her resignation and a move at the House of Commons to cite her in contempt, which she was able to evade following the collapse of the minority Conservative government a month later. Harper, who stood by Oda then, and his party became a majority government as a result of the May 2011 general election.

    Oda hogged headlines anew in late April, this time for her spending habits. Back in June 2011, she reportedly snubbed the room booked for her at Grange St. Paul’s Hotel in London worth 287 Canadian dollars ($279) a night for the lavish Savoy Hotel, which billed her C$1,995 for three days. She was in the U.K. capital for the international conference on immunization, alluding to the GAVI pledging summit. She initially defended her action but changed her tune, calling it “unacceptable” and repaid some of the expense.

    Oda’s fate on whether she stays on as international cooperation minister could be known as soon as late this month, according to local reports.

    “I think there’s a time for some freshening up,” a Conservative strategist told The Toronto Star. “I think there’s some irritations in there, I think there is some cleaning up to do.”

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    About the author

    • Eliza Villarino

      Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.