Access to a lifetime expense allowance from former Governors General of Canada is not passed on to the public. About 88% of Quebecers would be in favor of Ottawa putting an end to it, according to a poll.
“Taxpayers are tired of paying staggering amounts to cover the expenses of former governors general,” notes Renaud Brossard, Quebec director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (FCC).
For example, former astronaut and Governor General Julie Payette, who left her post in turmoil in 2021, has access to an allowance for her expenses of up to $206,000 per year. However, it is impossible to know, for the moment, if Mme Payette used these sums.
She also receives a pension of $152,000. If Mme Payette lives to be 90, the FCC puts the bill at around $4.9 million just for her pension. To this sum must be added the claims for his expenses.
In 2018, the National Post wrote that former Queen’s Representative Adrienne Clarkson (from 1999 to 2005) had billed the state over $1 million in expenses over the span of 13 years. These sums must be used to cover expenses incurred related to his former function, such as an office.
Up to six months after death
According to a Léger poll of 1,537 people commissioned by the FCC, only 16% of Canadians still approve of the various benefits granted to former “GGs”.
Mr. Brossard, who has been waging this battle for years, deplores the Prime Minister’s inaction in this file. It is also hard to understand why this expense allowance is valid until six months after the death of the former Governor General.
In 2018, Justin Trudeau opened the door to reviewing the formula for expenses reimbursed to former governors general, who can currently all claim up to $ 206,000 per year, until their death.
In 2019, a report recommending changes to this policy was even prepared for the Prime Minister.
The support program for former governors general began in 1979.