Former GG continues to rack up public bills

Adrienne Clarkson has charged taxpayers more than $500,000 since leaving office


Former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson has billed the government for more than $500,000 in secretarial help since leaving her post, the Toronto Star revealed Friday. Clarkson’s office defended the payments. The former GG gets hundreds of letters and dozens of requests for speaking engagements related to her time in the job every month, a spokesman said. NDP MP Pat Martin called the payments “ridiculous.”

Toronto Star


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Former GG continues to rack up public bills

  1. I am no fan of government misspending, but, as a country, Canada does not really take care of our former leaders in ways that other countries do.

    In the United States, for example, former Presidents and their spouses are entitled to a lifetime pension that begins when the president leaves office; lifetime bodyguard protection; lifetime healthcare provided in military hospitals; and, yes, a lifetime government-funded office and government-paid staff (more than Ms. Clarkson’s one secretary) to run that office. Not to mention the presidential libraries that are operated with public money for eternity. The services provided are much more extensive (and worth more in public funds) than what Ms. Clarkson, or any other Governor General or Prime Minister, receives in Canada. Other countries provide similar services to their former leaders. The cost is really a drop in the bucket anyhow – being a fraction of overall government spending.

    I thnk that this “news” is symptomatic of the distrust that most Canadians seem to have of their public officials. Regardless of how we feel about the policies of a former Governor General or former Prime Minister, these are men and women who have provided much of their time and effort to the service of our country. They deserve the respect afforded to them by their former offices. They are not Tim Hortons workers. They are/were world leaders. A different standard has to be applied.

    Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Pierre Pettigrew put it nicely. To paraphrase him, in the United States they are suspicious of government, but they respect those who serve in government. In Canada, we like government, but we don’t respect those who serve.

    • I hadn’t heard that quote from Pettigrew before, but I agree there’s a lot of truth to it.

      Although we’ve outlawed racial and other forms of discrimination and certain kinds of hate speech in this country, it’s like we’ve come up with new groups of people that it’s considered socially acceptable to hate in a knee-jerk, blanket fashion.  Politicians for one.  Also lawyers.

      • Often the same thing.

  2. Wow, that’s almost five and a half days worth of “consulting fees.”

  3. The GG is a totally useless position.  It’s time to consider Canada as a republic, notwithstanding the popularity of the recent visit of Kate and her husband (what’s his name?)   Then  we could have the fun of re-doing the constitution.

    • If you want to live in a republic, move to the US.  They are doing soooo well.

      • How did you get loose from the chair?

        • Same way you sneaked away from your nurses.

  4. Wow!   Can’t believe I’m agreeing with Pat Martin, lol!

    Clarkson was renowned for her over-spending.  They actually cut her back 10% her last year.  Never did see a break-down of how her $1 million polar trip promoting Canada became $5.3 million.  Her renovations at Rideau Hall were always way over budget.

    I much prefer GG Johnston’s recent statement of his intent to shave 5-10% of his budget.  Just because you hold a high office in the governmnet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be financially responsible with our money!!!

    • GG Johnston also just gave himself a raise.

      • Considering the pay cut he has taken to be the GG, I’d say we are getting a bargain

        “Canada’s new Governor General earned more than $1 million in 2010, making him the second-highest Ontario employee last year according to the province’s co-called sunshine list.

        David Johnston was paid $1,056,813 in salary and bonuses as the president and vice-chair of the University of Waterloo last year.”


        • I had no idea that anyone could take that much money a year out a university.  Thanks for confirming again that our spending on the GG is quite reasonable indeed.

        • Lots of MPs take a big pay cut when they’re elected.

          That doesn’t make them a ‘bargain’ to us.

        • In 2010-11, the salary was $130,000. It will climb four per cent this year to $135,000, according to the Winnipeg Free Press.

  5. Why is this arrogant, self absorbed, selfish little troll-ette still costing us money after leaving office? She should not be allowed to bill us for furthering her profitable personal venture. Cut her off already! Although she’ll probably find another way of living off the public teat, like rejoining the CBC, hah!

    • Harper also lives ‘off the public teat’. 

      In fact, the entire govt does.

      • Umm….they were elected, not appointed.

        As far as “living off the public teat” goes, so does the entire Parliament, including your beloved Liberals and NDP, the Senate, civil service, pages and staffers, parliamentary janitors, the military, judges, prosecutors, police, firefighters, government inspectors, the list goes on and on. They’re also still employed in the role for which they’re being paid.

        • Doesn’t matter if their names were drawn out of a hat….and yes, they all live off the public teat.  For politicians and appointees though, it is not the lifetime career that the others would have.

          And stop trying to pretend I’m Lib or NDP.

          • Who cares how long their careers are? People shouldn’t be paid by their FORMER employer when they are no longer EMPLOYED BY THEM!

            Does some one leave their job, and still expect a paycheck from their FORMER employer?

            And, yes, for some politicians it is a lifetime career, and senators are appointed for life (or 75, or death or senility or whatever).

          • Apparently you are unaware of the number of people getting cheques from a variety of sources.

            Some people even have contracts…ya know?

            I meant it wasn’t a lifetime career like being a cop or fireman etc

            What exactly is it you’re complaining about anyway?

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