Haunted by allegations of dishonesty, Conservative Bev Oda cruises to victory

John Size
Canada Politics

As Conservative cabinet minister Bev Oda gave Canadian political journals a new word, a scribbled "not" on a government funding rejection letter, voters in her Durham, Ont. riding gave her a big thumbs up.

That would be a not-so-scribbled "yes".

The oft-photographed chain smoker cruised to victory to retain her seat for the Conservatives despite being followed by accusations of dishonesty. She's held the riding for seven years.

Oda, 66, told supporters, "I feel great. I feel terrific," as she entered her victory celebration at a restaurant in Bowmanville, Ont.

It was as international cooperation minister that Oda caused outrage in the House of Commons when funding was cancelled for a religious charity that supported abortion and said she didn't know who did it.

She finally admitted a staff member added the 'not' at her request to kill the $7 million grant.

Oda insisted she never lied and a House committee wasn't able to table its report after the election was called.

Only days before the Monday vote, Oda complained about her reputation being "maligned" and the allegations against her being unfounded.

In the end, it didn't matter. She won handily and retained the back-and-forth riding for the Conservatives, who went on to win a majority government.

(CP Photo)