Even though she has announced her departure from politics, it appears MP Bev Oda hasn't departed from the media cross-hairs just yet. A former employee of Oda's has confirmed that the minister did smoke in her office, as was alleged on Monday, and expensed an air purifier to taxpayers in order to do so undetected.
"It has come to my attention that yes, after your story, Bev Oda has been smoking in her office," said Oda's press secretary Justin Broekema to QMI Agency reporter Annie Dufour.
The allegation that Oda had been smoking in her office came out Monday, when Sun News ran a story citing sources who claimed Oda smoked regularly in her officer during her time as Minister of International Cooperation. The story cited a "highly placed source in the government" who said that the staff were frustrated and couldn't do anything to stop it.
Broekema, who worked for Oda from 2009 to her resignation last week, denied these allegations to the media. The Toronto Sun reports Broekema saying Oda never smoked in her office, nor was there an air purifier or complaints about a smell of smoke.
However Broekema's story changed today, who confirmed in statements to Sun News and The Toronto Star that Oda had been smoking on the job, and had an air purifier in the office.
"Since that story I learned that a $50 Walmart air purifier was purchased for the office and that the former minister smoked in her office," Broekema told The Star in an email.
The original Sun News story says that the air purifier was ordered at taxpayers' expense. Oda herself has not confirmed these allegations.