Canada's International Cooperation Minister Bev Oda speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa April 30, 2012. (CHRIS WATTIE/Chris Wattie/Reuters)

The List

Riding in cars with Bev

The Globe and Mail

I am a resident of the riding of Durham. Tory cabinet minister Bev Oda is my member of parliament.

Yes, that Bev Oda.

The Bev Oda who originally billed taxpayers for her 2011 stay at London’s posh Savoy hotel instead of the five-star hotel she was originally booked into. The same Bev Oda who expensed $16 for a glass of orange juice on our dime.

Good, ol’ embattled Bev Oda. I’m starting to believe Embattled is her first name, given how often it precedes Bev and Oda in news stories.

Still, I have to admire her. Why? Because, despite Oda’s utter contempt for taxpayers and their money, she’s a car girl at heart – living the dream, riding in vehicles most of us only dream about. Surely that counts for something, no?

Oh. Never mind then.

Bev Oda’s best rides

1. In June 2011, Oda billed taxpayers $2,850 to hire a fancy car and chauffeur for three days to take her a short drive from the Savoy to a conference on international immunization. Sure, she could’ve stayed at the site of the conference, the Grange St. Paul’s hotel, but then she would’ve missed out on the opportunity to wallow in a premium ride. Dunno exactly what type of car that amount of coin gets you other than it has been reported that it was likely either a Mercedes or BMW. Under fire from all sides, she last week repaid the entire amount.

2. In 2006, someone had the temerity to arrange for a minivan – a minivan! – to ferry Oda less than 100 metres from her hotel to the Juno Awards in Halifax. How was that going to look when you’re trying to hang with Kardinal Offishall, Pam Anderson and the boys from Hedley? Oda said hell, no, and used limousines for four days instead at a cost of $5,475. We’re here for a good time, not a long time. Rock and roll, baby. She reimbursed taxpayers $2,200 of that amount.

3. In 2007, Oda billed taxpayers more than $1,200 for an 8 a.m. limo ride that took her to both a government event in Toronto and a Conservative party meeting before returning her home at 11 p.m.

4. Also in 2006, according to an invoice obtained by the NDP under federal Access to Information laws, Oda had a limo pick her up at her home and then wheel her around Toronto “as directed.” The taxpayer cost: Almost $750. Awww, Bev, as your neighbour, I would’ve given you a ride. We could’ve carpooled it into Toronto together and I would’ve asked for nothing more than a couple of bucks for gas. And, given time, I’m certain you would’ve learned to love my minivan.

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