ere’s a limit to what should be allowed
Jeez, I wish I had known that I could submit expense claims to former employers for ongoing expenses after my contracted role has ended.
Oh, wait, that privilege only seems to be extended to our former governors general.
Who else was totally amazed and disgusted as the revelation recently emerged that those esteemed folks who previously served in Canada’s vice-regal role are still billing the federal government for some of their ongoing expenses?
It might be just me, but I always thought that once your employment ended with a particular employer, so did your claims on any monetary resources that company, or employer might still hold. Again, I might be mistaken, but it seems to me we only have one governor general serving at any one time.
As has been reported in recent news articles, the biggest o ender in submitting expense claims has been Adrienne Clarkson who served in the vice-regal role from 1999 to 2005, and whose annual billings to the Canadian taxpay- ers have now exceeded $1 million.
In response, Clarkson issued a statement saying even though her official position ended in 2005, she continues to serve Canadians and is permitted to submit expenses to the government through a support policy established in 1979 for former governors general at the beginning of Ed Schreyer’s term in the role.
She says through her various writings, speeches and patronages she is still serving Canadians, and plans to do so until she dies.
Hello! Your term job ended, and you no longer have an o cial role!
While many Canadians are attracted to celebrity and requests to the holders of former o ce might continue to pour in once their contracted role has ended, the former employer should not be on the hook for these expenses. is is bene t to the individual, which is a bonus to having served in the role.
I say feel free to capitalize on your former role, but do not pretend you’re still serving Canadians beyond the point where anyone who volunteers for a great cause is also serving.
is is really not about picking on Clarkson, although she had the highest expenses of any sitting governor general; quite a scandal at the time, if you’ll recall.
It has also recently been revealed Clarkson’s almost six years in o ce have earned her an annual pension of $143,000 per year until she dies. If Clarkson is really serving anyone other than herself, then I say let her dip into this outrageous pension amount for the expenses of her activities.
Keep in mind the position of governor general is not an elected one. Canadians do not go to the polls to choose who they feel is the best candidate for the job. It falls to the sitting Prime Minister of Canada to appoint a new governor general when the term of the current governor general is set to end.
Contrast the perks of exiting governors general with exiting prime ministers who are actually elected by the people. If prime ministers have served the requisite number of years in the House, they do get a very generous pension once they are out of o ce, but unlike the governors general, they get no ongoing expenses. ey are free to join a speakers’ circuit and they have been known to receive fees in the $20,000 to $50,000 range for speaking engagements. is is fair. If Canadians want to hear them speak, they can pony up the cash to listen to them.
We can’t point the nger at the current government for the egregious permissiveness of funding the expenses of former governors general, as the practice has been going on for more than40 years, but I do put it to the current government to end this practice.
It is time.