Oda out: PM pulls plug on Heritage run


TORONTO -- Canadian Heritage Minister Bev Oda, under fire for campaign financing irregularities, is expected to lose her job in a cabinet shuffle to be unveiled as early as Monday.

A spokeswoman for Oda said her department would not comment on speculation, but it's understood that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has made the decision to move her out of the post.

The decision comes after Oda, responsible for federal broadcast and film policy, last year allowed major broadcasters she oversees to organize a fundraiser on her behalf. The media attention over the fundraiser prompted its cancellation.

Oda also has drawn fire from some quarters for her job performance. The Toronto Star on Thursday called her "an enigmatic and lackluster head of culture," while the influential Globe and Mail newspaper described Oda as a "lackluster non-entity."

Despite that assessment, Oda drew applause from the Canadian TV industry for renewing Ottawa's contribution to the Canadian Television Fund, the main source of subsidies for independent TV producers, and injecting CAN$29 million ($27.5 million) over two years into the Canadian New Media Fund, to help domestic new media producers.

Fellow Conservative party members of parliament Jason Kenney and Sen. Michael Fortier have been touted as possible replacements for Oda in the heritage post.