I can think of lots of examples where ministers have screwed up and have been shown the door to the backbenches or the parking lot.
There are clear cut cases of stupidity, bungling and abuse. There have been even less clear cases where ministers have been forced to step aside because of mistakes made by departmental officials. In the end, the buck stops at the ministerial level.
Which makes me wonder, why would the Prime Minister of Canada expend a single ounce of political currency on the arrogant Bev Oda.
The International Cooperation Minister is like the Mr. Magoo of Canadian politics. She just keeps falling into shit and embarrassing the government and perpetuating the negative stereotype that all politicians are sleazy.
The latest episode regarding her "inappropriate costs." for a swanky hotel and car rentals in London illustrate that she is not fit to sit in a conservative cabinet. Her apparent sense of self-entitlement is ridiculous out of sync with the Prime Minister.
Yet, time after time, the Prime Minister has let her stupidity slide. She has offered an apology and repaid the "inappropriate costs."
When questions surfaced about her expenses she told reporters (the CBC) had nothing to be held to account for because all Treasury Board guidelines were followed. She was using the letter of the law to skirt the spirit of the law.
Her big spending, pampered way,s further tarnishes the image of Conservative restraint.
This is not the first time the Prime Minister has come to her aid. In 2009, Oda lied to parliament. She rejected a church-based aid group called Kairos for renewal of its long-standing Canadian International Development Agency grant. She called the rejection a “CIDA decision,” but it turned out top CIDA officials had signed a note recommending approval of Kairos’s funding. That memo was later altered when the word “not” was penned in before “approve.”
Oda told a House committee she didn’t know who inserted the “not,” only to admit later that she had ordered the doctoring of the document.
This is not about defending a minister from an opposition onslaught. She has made her own bed, she should have the sense to lie in it.
The Prime Minister needs to cut her loose.