02.16.2011 10:33 AM

My 140 characters on Odious Oda (updated)

@kinsellawarren: Ministers are entitled to write whatever they want on papers put before them. Lying about what they wrote to the H of C? Not.”

UPDATED: A resourceful CP photog caught her behind the Commons this morning. Charming, isn’t she?

Harper loyalist Odious Oda displays her government’s commitment to smoke-cessation.  And optics.


  1. JenS says:

    That about nails it. But it’s being spun as whether she had the right to deny funding. The dishonesty issue is going to have to be shouted over that somehow.

    • Ted says:

      Correction: they are attempting to make this about the funding issue. So far, big fail.

      It’s a doctored document, that was lied about in Parliament. Twice. That’s what Canadians are hearing.

      • Cath says:

        “That?s what Canadians are hearing.” Nope Ted. Just those among the 15% who pay attention to politics are hearing anything at all. Have to agree with JenS.

  2. Bill says:

    Make no mistake, the “NOT” came from the Dark Prince on high.

    • Iris Mclean says:

      True. But did the Dark Prince order her to lie about it later?

      • Namesake says:

        actually, it’s worse than that: there’s a strong possibility that it’s the PM himself who misled the House yesterday (and Oda, on Monday), by maintaining not only that it was Oda’s decision to make but also that it was she who made it…

        because as I noted yesterday,

        her testimony to the Committee was not that SHE DID make or even order the change, but just that it was one that she “ultimately” WOULD have agreed to (presumably once she’d been appropriately brow-beaten into it — to see the error of her ways of just letting the Department apply its actual guidelines and procedures as written and endorsing their well-considered recommendations, instead of clamping down on any hint of unapproved advocacy on the part of any grantees)

        … if her political masters had actually bothered to, instead of just making the decision for her, which is entirely possible, from what’s been said here by a deep-throat insider, about how she dithered about the decision and then it was signed mechanically on her behalf & date-stamped while she was away from Ottawa

  3. fritz says:

    It’s always the cover-up that gets you in the end.

  4. Ted H. says:

    As a party leader, Stephen Harper ran on a promise of “Clean Accountable Government”. As Prime Minister, he could use situations such as this to re-affirm his promise to the Canadian people and prove that he has that “moral compass” he accuses opposition leaders of lacking.

  5. Derek Pearce says:

    I disagree to a degree WK– while a Minister may be legally entitled to write what they wish on a document, to do so after professionals have signed it, thereby reversing the meaning that said professionals signed their names to in good faith, just shows such a lack of honesty and judgment as to make one disqualified from any position of authority in a democracy whether the underlings were themselves elected or not. However I fully agree that lying to the Commons should be legally punishable. I hope Steve feels at least a twinge of guilt for pressuring someone to commit that crime.

  6. smelter rat says:

    That photo portrays one sad Roy Orbison impression.

  7. H Holmes says:

    Do you think that the conservatives want to keep this in the news as the notion of cutting of funding to “liberal” groups plays well with their base and if this is the case how does keeping this as the number one story help us get votes?

    The story here is not about the tampering of documents or about lying about it, it is how the media is so easily swayed to pick up a story that in the end helps the conservatives as most people will ignore or many those that do pay attention will see that she has saved the government $7,000,000.

    We should be focusing on the increasing deficit under Harper and the perimeter security pact, not this.

    • MississaugaLibPeter says:

      You are out to lunch H. Holmes.

      This is an issue that has legs if Ignatieff’s Team does not blow it.

      The deficit and security perimeter are complicated, lack of integrity is pretty clear cut. Ignatieff has to come clean with his writings/quotes and then make Harper’s integrity the centre issue of the upcoming election.

    • Namesake says:

      but they didn’t “save” it — they just granted it to some other groups within the CIDA portfolio. It’s like when they decided at the last moment not to fund the Toronto Pride festival last summer, but gave bountifully to an Arts & and an agricultural festival in To., instead: no savings, just punishing some causes that fall foul of their vindictive ideology.

    • Sean says:

      bang on H Holmes…

  8. David York says:

    I never had a good vibe about Yoko

  9. bc says:

    Oda should be fired.

    But I’m not sure why you need to take a subtle dig at her appearance.

    Don’t go all “Harper has scary eyes” on us – you’re better than that.

  10. Photo: Do I smell a foul Oda?

  11. orval says:

    The poor Liberals, they can’t catch a break. Just when they were starting to make headway with the Canadian public on corporate tax cuts….WHOA! SHINY OBJECT! they get side-tracked by a trivial non-scandal which gets hysterical over-coverage until the media gets bored after 48 hours.

    Liberals should read WK’s book; “when you are hunting bear, don’t get distracted by rabbit tracks.”

    They should also pay attention to Marzolini – 85% of Canadians aren’t paying attention to Ottawa, and the 15% who are care only about the economy.

    PM Harper probably can’t believe his good fortune. Conservatives’ll have a 20 point lead pretty soon.

  12. hugger says:

    Having scanned recent posts on this subject, I have yet to find responses from Canadian Sense or Gordon Tulk.

    Silence of the Lambs?

  13. dstm says:

    Hi W
    She has to be Jim F’s lost sister

  14. Bob C. says:

    To a limited degree I have helped prepare such documents in years gone by. Usually this type of “sign off” would indicate that there was prior agreement by the Minister or DM that “sign off” would be provided. If the Minister or DM changed their mind, or never intended on signing the document in the first place, they wouldn’t sign it and would return same with a separately authored memo instruct the powers to be to reject it. The fact that a NOT was inserted, we don’t know WHEN or by whom, and the Minister’s signature was by an auto signature machine is highly suspect.

    I am not sure how anyone could say that fraud has been committed, but I would go as far as to say that the document could/should be interpreted as an approval for funding as the addition of the “NOT” was not initialled by any of the signatures to document (including Oda), therefore the addition has not been legally agreed to by the document’s signatories and does not exist. To lie about it, or more likely to take the blame for it, is just plain stupid on Oda’s part and should be career limiting.

  15. fritz says:

    You have to know it’s over when pundits and the press stop being outraged and start to laugh at you as they did tonight on Power Play and Power and Politics. Ridicule is much worse than anger.

  16. Stewart says:

    She looks like a Mafia hench person waiting for her next assignment. It fits.

    Funny that this government wants to lock up some drug users. B.O. certainly needs her drug by the look of it.

    If you took away the nicotine she would probably fall apart completely.

  17. Namesake says:

    Andrew Coyne adds to the narrative:

    “The ingredients of the Oda affair ? secrecy, deception, stonewalling, contempt for Parliament, bureaucrats as fall guys and ministers as pawns ? are evident throughout this government. And all stem from the same source: a refusal to deal openly with the public, to explain the reasons for its actions and take responsibility for them ? because to do so would require the government to concede that its actions have reasons, an underlying intent, a purpose, a philosophy, an ideology. And the Harper government?s whole philosophy is to have no philosophy, or none that it acknowledges.

    If they had simply declared, we do not wish to fund Kairos any more, because we disagree with its aims and methods ? because of its hostility to market economics and unbalanced criticism of Israel ? that would have caused controversy, but nothing like the mess they now find themselves in. But that, it seems, is a lesson they never learn. It was, after all, the same government that pretended, falsely, to have had the support of Statistics Canada officials in its decision to corrupt the long-form census.

    So, too, in the matter of the Globalive wireless phone application, rather than state openly that it wishes to allow foreign competition in telecoms, and change the law ? or attempt to ? to allow it, as any normal government would, this government simply declares that Globalive is a Canadian company, in plain contradiction, as a Federal Court judge has lately found, to the facts. The result? Far from convincing the public that it has no ideology, it simply confirms them in the impression that it is both ideological and devious. And since its stratagems and deceptions are invariably found out, we should perhaps add to the list: ideological, devious, and incompetent.”


    • AmandaM says:

      You know what’s fantastic, is that Andrew Coyne is being rational about this whole thing and this is the kind of narrative the Libs need, not the disjoined OUTRAGE we’ve been seeing. “The Harper government pretends that things are different from reality. Their default setting is to lie and mislead, using actual, hardworking people with families to do it. Who will they smear next for political gain? You? Your spouse? Your brother or sister? Is Harper a leader you would sacrifice your reputation, your job and your family for?”

      WAY better than getting into the minute details of committee testimony and inserting words into documents. ^Not has become a national joke. and I’m not sure the Liberals are on the winning side of it.

  18. Steven says:

    None of this is surprising.

    Add to all this a pervasive paranoia towards any real or perceived criticism or challenge – e.g. anonymous requests under the Access to Information Act for the expenses of university professors critical of the Conservatives’ policies, and even (as reported today by John Ibbitson in the Globe and Mail) Jason Kenney ( young Nixon – five o’clock shadow and all) brushing off a CP reporter on the Oda issue by telling him the CBC “lies all the time” and asking him which organization he works with.

    Wake up people!

  19. palmerston says:

    If you alter an official document you take ownership and initial the change. That’s the bottom line.

    So, who inserted the “not”? That’s what I want to know. Let’s drill down.

  20. smelter rat says:

    This is a complete misstep by Mr. Harper. What’s largely gone unreported by anyone on this story is the fact that in Canada, Kairos members are pretty typical middle class white Christians…precisely the base he seems bent on attracting to his cause (whatever that is). Talk about shooting himself in the foot.

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