I see the Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation has a petition going around, the purpose of which is to get the federal government to stop paying the expenses of former governors general after they leave office. The petition demands an end to the policy that allows former governors general to bill taxpayers up to $206,000 annually. Apparently, former governor general Adrienne Clarkson’s expenses have totalled $1.1 million since she left office in 2005. The petition collected 30,000 signatures in one week and is available online. The appointed post of governor general is ceremonial, acting as the Queen’s representative. Expenses incurred while taking care of all ceremonial duties during the term of office should be looked after by the government, ie, us. However, just like any citizen whose job is finished, you shouldn’t get to claim expenses once you’ve left. If the prime minister asks a former governor general to take on a short-term task then ok, it could be said to be fair that we pick up the tab for expenses incurred. However, as it stands, those who have held that office are allowed to rack up expenses on our tab to the tune of over $200,000 a year and, as we understand it, they don’t even have to account for how the money was spent. That is obviously not right and the rules need to be changed. And, by the way, before we start blaming Trudeau, let’s pause and remember this situation dates back to long before he became prime minister.
That’s Coffeetalk. I’m Vic Dubois.