Monday, April 23, 2012

Canada: Only the best for our Bev

Canadian Conservative International Development Minister Bev Oda declined to stay in a five star hotel on a conference visit to London England. Instead she booked at another more luxurious hotel at more than twice the cost.

The original hotel Grange St..Pauls was the actual conference site. Oda had staff rebook her into the Savoy Hotel owned by a Saudi Arabian Prince. Six years ago Oda rejected a minivan as transportation and demanded a limousine instead.

Since Oba was now a distance from the conference site she also hired a luxury car and driver to shuttle her from her new hotel to the conference site. This cost another 1,000 a day approximately. The bill at the Savoy was $1995 for three nights plus another $287 for the cancellation at the original hotel..

While paying for Oda the Canadian International Development Agency had cutbacks this year to the tune of 380 million dollars. Documents detailing the expenses were obtained by the press under the Access to Information Act.

A spokesperson said:"These expenses followed the appropriate guidelines; all travel is done in compliance with Treasury Board guidelines. When Minister Oda travels we consider the most appropriate, cost-effective accommodations. On the trip in question, our office followed this procedure." So cancelling out of a five star hotel and booking one at twice the price is cost-effective. No wonder there is a government deficit.

This morning it was announced that Oda reimbursed the government for at least part of the additional expenses. She paid after the news reports not before. So why did she pay when it was cost-effective and appropriate and followed guidelines? For more see this article.

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