Tales of government waste make for excellent news headlines. Bev Oda's infamous $16 orange juice probably got more media attention than the $45 billion F35 procurement debacle. Part of the reason is that people understand the value and cost of orange juice. Rather than focusing on waste, analysts and the media should instead focus on getting more value for money from governments. We need to pay less attention to tens of dollars and more attention to billions.
In case you missed it, the Harper Conservatives claim that they have "done more for women and girls across Canada than any other government." The actual evidence simply does not support such a wild claim. Instead of addressing pay equity, the lack of which means about $126 billion in lost income potential of women in Canada, former Heritage Minister Bev Oda was more interested in freeing up $700,000 from unnecessary rent and utility bills after a $5 million funding cut to Status of Women. One out of three women in Canada suffers violence.
Stephen Harper has finally shuffled his cabinet but if his aim was to turn the page on a year full of scandals, it looks like he failed by simply rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. A better bet would have been to take the lemons he'd been handed and make himself a batch of cabinet lemonade with courageous appointments like these.
Oh Bev Oda, you may never live that $16 orange juice down. The former MP and international co-operation minister won a Lifetime
Every once in a while, we brand consultants get ourselves what we call a "trainwreck" -- a bona fide, dyed in the wool, gong show of a client. And we roll up our sleeves and get to work. Such is the case of the "in the headlines again this past week" Bev Oda -- she's just not getting a break is she? And so, I surmised that maybe she needs some help to get her out of this and send her on her way to a fresh start.
Then minister for CIDA, Bev Oda, was charged a penalty fee of $250 US in 2010 for smoking in her hotel room and expensed her department. It's inexcusable, but ministers don't act alone. They have staff to both offer advice and at the same time protect them from follies such as this one. Didn't anyone question this expense claim?
When Bev Oda's resignation from Parliament and cabinet took effect on July 31, she lost her $233,247 salary. But Oda started collecting her parliamentary pension on August 1 at the handsome rate the Canadian Taxpayers Federation estimates at $52,183 per year. For life. After eight years of Parliamentary work. You see, for every one dollar contributed from MPs to their pension plans, the Canadian taxpayers contribute $24 each. Seem a bit much?
Bev Oda doesn't regret charging taxpayers $16 for an orange juice and said today on her last day as the MP for Durham that
The opening stuff before the parade of athletes was weird, bizarre, peculiar, odd, curious, offbeat, outlandish, eccentric, unconventional, unorthodox, queer, unexpected, abnormal, atypical, unusual, out of the ordinary, extraordinary, remarkable, puzzling, mystifying, mysterious, perplexing, baffling, inexplicable, incongruous, irregular, singular, ludicrous, comical, ridiculous, droll, deviant, aberrant, grotesque, freakish, surreal, wacky, oddball, way out, freaky, off the wall, rum, wacko, and bizarro.
For all his gauche bombast on the matter, I'm wondering if Sun TV's Ezra Levant may be on to something with his decision to pillory departing Globe and Mail web editor Stephen Wicary over his recent decision to relocate his family to Cuban People's Glorious Commie Police State.