The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is calling on newly appointed Governor General Mary Simon to reform the unaffordable taxpayer-funded perks provided to governors general.
“Rideau Hall needs to re-establish trust with Canadians, and a good first step would be to reform the unfair perks connected to the position,” said Franco Terrazzano, Federal Director for the CTF. “The government isn’t flush with cash, and many families and businesses are still struggling, and this is the right time for Canada’s new governor general to show respect for taxpayers.”
Former governors general receive an annual pension payment which is now about $150,000 per year. Governors general are eligible for the full pension regardless of how long they serve in the role and start collecting it immediately upon leaving the position.
The CTF estimates that the five living former governors general will receive more than $18 million if they continue to collect their pensions to age 90. Julie Payette only served for a little more than three years but will still receive an estimated $4.8 million if she collects the Governor General pension to that age.
The CTF also estimates that the five living former Governors General will receive more than $18 million if they continue to collect their pensions to age 90. The estimates are based on the annual Governor-General pension amounts published in the public accounts since 2000-01 and assume the 2019-20 pension payment of $149,484 for future years.
Alongside Payette, Edward Schreyer, Adrienne Clarkson, Michaëlle Jean, and David Johnston collect $3.4 million, $3.2 million, $5.4 million, and $1.9 million from their pensions respectively.
In addition to the annual pension, former governors general can submit expenses to taxpayers for $206,040 per year for the rest of their lives and up to six months after their death. The governor general’s annual salary is $302,114, according to the 2019-20 public accounts of Canada.
“It’s not fair to keep dragging taxpayers further into debt to pay for governor general perks that are unimaginable for the vast majority of Canadians,” said Terrazzano. “This should have been reined in long ago, and taxpayers expect Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to bring these perks in line with the reality facing taxpayers.”