Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Canadian politician's resignation leads to Cabinet changes

The resignation of federal politician Bev Oda in a spending scandal has led to an unexpected Cabinet shuffle.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper replaced the embattled Oda, Canada's first Japanese-Canadian member of Parliament, with Julian Fantino in her former post as International Cooperation Minister.

Fantino, now a politician and former Ontario Provincial Police commissioner, is succeeded as associate minister of National Defense by Bernard Valcourt, who also continues as minister of state for Atlantic Canada and La Francophonie.

"These changes to the ministry ensure continuity as we focus on creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity," Harper said in a statement.

Oda's resignation followed intense pressure from politicians and the public for her to quit after information was revealed about "excessive" spending.

Harper praised Oda's accomplishments while she said it was a "privilege to have served" in her Toronto-area Durham district. She did not say why she was resigning.

Oda billed the government for swanky hotel accommodations in London, hired a luxury car and driver at $1,000 a day and even charged a $16 glass of orange juice. Reports said she also modified expense statements from earlier trips.

Daylong party celebrates 145 years

Canada's 145th birthday was marked last Sunday by thousands of people dressed in red and white on Parliament Hill.

Governor General David Johnston, Queen Elizabeth II's official representative in Canada, and his wife, Sharon, rode in an open horse-drawn carriage accompanied by Mounties on horseback and dressed in red serge.

There was a 21-gun salute and fly pasts by two CF-18 fighter jets and the Canadian Forces Snowbirds' aerobatic team to launch the daylong party.

Canadians can be "proud of a strong and growing economy" and a caring and compassionate society, Prime Minister Stephen Harper told the crowd.

News in brief

• The Canadian government is cutting access to health care by immigrants seeking asylum in Canada to save money. Those seeking admission to Canada from yet-to-be defined "safe countries," likely to include Mexico, Hungary and Czech Republic, as well as refugee claimants awaiting appeals and deportation, would be denied free health care that now also includes hospital, medical, dental and vision needs.

• About 200 workers from Ontario and 50 from Quebec are helping utility companies in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., restore power. Storms left about 3 million people without power in a record-breaking heat wave. The workers said they were thanked and warmly welcomed to the United States as they crossed the border to help out.

Facts and figures

The Canadian dollar was lower Friday at 98.02 cents in U.S. funds while the U.S. dollar returned $1.0201 Canadian, before bank exchange fees.

The Bank of Canada's key interest rate remains at 1 percent while the prime-lending rate is 3 percent.

Stock markets have advanced, with the Toronto exchange index at 11,661 points and the TSX Venture index at 1,206 points.

Lotto 6-49: (July 4) 15, 20, 22, 25, 27 and 41; bonus 28. (June 30) 12, 22, 31, 32, 35 and 47; bonus 4. Lotto Max: (June 29) 10, 14, 20, 28, 35, 40 and 42; bonus 44.

Regional briefs

• A human head found in a park lake in Montreal has been identified as that of Jun Lin, a university student from China. Earlier his torso was found in a suitcase and other body parts were mailed to offices of political parties in Ottawa and to two schools in Vancouver. Porn movie actor Luka Rocco Magnotta was arrested on murder charges.

• Police in Ontario have begun a criminal investigation into the collapse of part of a roof killing two women June 23 at Algo Center Mall in Elliot Lake. Shopper Doloris Perizzolo, 74, and lottery ticket agent Lucie Aylwin, 37, were killed. Police, the coroner's office and building inspectors are investigating aspects of the building's stability and physical condition before the collapse.

• British Columbia place names have been given to seven African penguins now residing at the Vancouver Aquarium. Enjoying their new home are Hope, Nelson, Tofino, Lillooet, Steveston, Sechelt and Salt Spring. In a monthlong contest, the aquarium received more than 600 suggestions for names.

Jim Fox can be reached at

Canadian politician's resignation leads to Cabinet changes 07/07/12 [Last modified: Saturday, July 7, 2012 8:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Car bomb kills 13, injures 24 in Baghdad; Islamic State claims responsibility


    BAGHDAD — A car bomb exploded outside a popular ice cream shop in central Baghdad just after midnight today, killing 13 people and wounding 24, hospital and police officials said.

  2. Leaping shark floors angler in Australia


    In The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway's protagonist battles for three days to pull in his prized catch. For Terry Selwood, it came a little more suddenly.

    A 9-foot shark lies on the deck of a fishing boat at Evans Head, Australia on Sunday. Fisherman Terry Selwood said he was left with a badly bruised and bleeding right arm where the shark struck him with a fin as it landed on him on the deck. [Lance Fountain via AP]
  3. Rays rally twice to beat Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Starting Erasmo Ramirez on Monday after he closed out Sunday's marathon win turned out, despite the Rays' best intentions and rigid insistence, to be a bad idea as he gave up four runs without getting through three innings.

    Erasmo Ramirez, starting a day after closing a 15-inning marathon, struggles against the Rangers and comes out after throwing 43 pitches in 21/3 innings.
  4. Britain investigating missed signals over Manchester bomber


    LONDON — Britain's domestic intelligence agency, MI5, is investigating its response to warnings from the public about the threat posed by Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people and wounded dozens more in an attack at a crowded Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, last week.

    People gather Monday at St. Ann’s Square in Manchester, England, to view tributes to victims of the suicide bombing that killed 22 on May 22 as a concert by Ariana Grande was concluding.
  5. Trump condemns killing of pair who tried to stop racist rant


    The mayor of Portland, Ore., on Monday urged U.S. officials and organizers to cancel a "Trump Free Speech Rally" and other similar events, saying they are inappropriate and could be dangerous after two men were stabbed to death on a train as they tried to help a pair of young women targeted by an anti-Muslim tirade.

    Coco Douglas, 8, leaves a handmade sign and rocks she painted at a memorial in Portland, Ore., on Saturday for two bystanders who were stabbed to death Friday while trying to stop a man who was yelling anti-Muslim slurs and acting aggressively toward two young women. From left are Coco's brother, Desmond Douglas; her father, Christopher Douglas; and her stepmother, Angel Sauls. [Associated Press]