Beverley Joan "Bev" Oda, PC, MP (born July 27, 1944) is a retired Canadian politician. She was a member of the House of Commons of Canada, as well as the first Japanese-Canadian MP and cabinet minister in Canadian history. She represented the riding of Durham for the Conservative Party of Canada. She was appointed Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women on February 6, 2006. She was appointed Minister for International Cooperation on August 14, 2007. On July 3, 2012, Oda announced she was resigning her seat in the House of Commons effective at the end of the month following public controversy about her spending habits; she was dropped from Cabinet the following day.
Oda, a sansei, was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario.Her mother was interned at Bay Farm in 1942, and her father went to southwestern Ontario to work on a sugar beet farm. Mississauga, Ontario. Oda has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto and studied at Lakeshore Teacher's College. A longtime resident of Mississauga, Oda taught at schools in the area. Following her private sector career, Oda moved to Orono, Ontario in 1999.
He moved to Fort William to do millwork where he met his wifeand later to
Oda was for many years a volunteer with the Progressive Conservative Party. She ran as a Conservative in Clarington—Scugog—Uxbridge in the 2004 federal election, and won a narrow victory over Liberal Tim Lang. Following her election, Oda was named as the Conservative Party critic for the Ministry of Heritage. She has argued in favour of allowing more Canadian and foreign programming options in the country.
On November 15, 2004, she reintroduced Bill C-333, the Chinese Canadian Recognition and Redress Act, which calls on parliament to recognize the contribution of Chinese immigrants to Canada, and acknowledge the unjust past treatments of Chinese Canadians as a result of racist legislation. Oda is not herself Chinese, but is Canada's first parliamentarian of Japanese heritage. In the 2006 election, she was re-elected in the riding of Durham with 47% of the vote in the riding, despite controversy over campaign funding by US copyright proponents.
On February 6, 2006, Oda was sworn in as Heritage Minister in the cabinet of the newly elected Conservative government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper. She is the first Japanese-Canadian cabinet minister in Canadian history.
Oda was appointed the Minister of International Cooperation on August 14, 2007.
As Canada's Minister for International Cooperation, she was responsible for Canada's overseas development assistance through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Oda oversaw the Government's Aid Effectiveness Agenda, which committed to making Canada's international assistance more efficient, focused, and accountable. Oda was also responsible for Canada's contributions to the Muskoka Initiative, a global effort to reduce maternal and infant mortality and improve the health of mothers and children in the world's poorest countries.
Oda was re-elected by a significant margin in the 2008 federal election, and again in the 2011 federal election.
On July 3, 2012, Oda announced that she would resign as a cabinet member and MP effective July 31.According to the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation, she is entitled to collect an MP's pension of $52,183 per year.
April 2, 2012