Canada

Text of Oda's statement on Kairos

Here is a transcript of International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda's statement to the House of Commons on Monday
Speaker Peter Milliken has ruled a 2009 CIDA document signed by International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda, which defunded the aid agency Kairos, was 'doctored.'

International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda's statement to the House of Commons on Monday, Feb. 14, 2011.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to set the record state regarding the funding application for Kairos.

"I wish to clearly inform the House of the matter and clear up any misunderstanding that exists. The CIDA officials did forward a document in which they sought approval of the recommendation for funding of the Kairos proposal. But ultimately the decision to provide funding was mine — or, to NOT provide funding — was mine as minister of international co-operation.

"But as you know, Mr. Speaker, departments do make recommendations to ministers, and ministers in carrying out their responsibilities can agree with those recommendations, or as is the case with this issue, they can disagree.

"In this case, the process in place requires the department to make recommendations, not to make the decision. So there was no decision taken by the department to provide funding, only a recommendation. It was my decision to disagree with the recommendation, based on discussion with advisers.

The government says Bev Oda's statement closes the matter. ((Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press))

"I was fully aware that my decision was not aligned with the recommendation of the department."

[Oda noted that the Opposition has asked the Speaker to rule on whether she intentionally or knowingly misled the House.]

"At no time have I stated that the decision for funding was that of the department.

"I have repeatedly and clearly stated in response to questions in the House and at a committee, that the funding decision was mine.

"The 'not' was inserted at my direction.

"Given the way the document was formatted allowing only for concurrence, this was the only way to reflect my decisions. If some were led to conclude that my language implied that the department and I were of one mind on this application, then I apologize.

"I would, Mr. Speaker, indicate to you that the way in which this case has been handled, including by myself, has been unfortunate.

"In no way have I intentionally, or knowingly misled the House, or the committee."

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