Copyright 2012 Graeme MacKay. Please check for MacKay's posting and publication rules by clicking here.
The Hamilton Spectator
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Wednesday April 25, 2012
International Cooperation Minister Bev Oda said sorry Tuesday for charging taxpayers with an expensive hotel stay in London, England last year, but her apology failed to satisfy critics.

"The expenses are unacceptable, should never have been charged to taxpayers," Oda said in the House of Commons in response to a question from interim Liberal leader Bob Rae. "I have repaid the costs associated with [the] changing of hotels and I unreservedly apologize."

Oda's travel expenses caused controversy on Monday when it was revealed that she was originally booked to stay at a hotel where she was attending a conference last June, but had her staff rebook her at the swanky Savoy hotel, where her stay cost her about $665 per night. The total bill for her three-day stay including the room and room service was $1,995. The room charges included an orange juice that cost $16.

Oda also hired a car and driver, at a cost of about $1,000 per day, to bring her to the hotel she was originally supposed to stay at and incurred a cancellation charge for refusing to stay at the Grange St. Paul's hotel.

After the Canadian Press broke the story on Monday, Oda's office said she would personally cover the tab for the difference in cost between the two hotels, the cancellation fee, and the orange juice. In total, she repaid $1,353.81.

"She only did this because she got caught," NDP House leader Nathan Cullen said Tuesday. Continued...

Bev Oda apologizes for swanky hotel stay
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