Governor General gets $11,200 raise in 2024, third pay bump in three years

Author: Franco Terrazzano 2024/03/08

Governor General Mary Simon received a $11,200 raise in 2024, her third pay bump since being appointed to the role in 2021, driving her salary for this year up to $362,800.

“Canadians are struggling to afford a jug of milk or a package of ground beef, so the government shouldn’t be rubberstamping another raise for the governor general,” said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Federal Director. “Can the government show Canadians how they’re getting more value, because the governor general’s paycheque just went up a thousand dollars a month.” 

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation confirmed Simon’s salary and latest raise with the Privy Council Office. 

“For 2024, the Governor General’s salary, which is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Governor General’s Act … is $362,800,” a PCO spokesman told the CTF. 

The governor general’s salary has increased by $60,000, or 20 per cent, since 2019. Meanwhile, the average annual salary among full-time workers is less than $70,000, according to Statistics Canada data.

Table: Annual Governor General salary, per PCO data


GG salary













On top of the $362,800 annual salary, the governor general receives a range of lavish perks, including a taxpayer-funded mansion, a platinum pension, a generous retirement allowance, a clothing budget, paid dry cleaning services and travel expenses. 

Former governors general are also eligible for a full pension, of about $150,000 a year, regardless of how long they serve in office. 

Even though Simon’s predecessor, Julie Payette, served in the role for a little more than three years, she will receive an estimated $4.8 million if she collects her pension till the age of 90.

The CTF estimates that Canada’s five living former governors general will receive more than $18 million if they continue to collect their pensions till the age of 90. 

Former governors general can also expense taxpayers up to $206,000 annually for the rest of their lives, continuing up to six months after their deaths. 

In May 2023, the National Post reported the governor general can expense up to $130,000 in clothing during their five-year mandates, with a $60,000 cap during the first year. 

Simon and Payette combined to expense $88,000 in clothing to taxpayers since 2017, including a velvet dress with silk lining, designer gloves, suits, shoes and scarves, among other items.

Rideau Hall expensed $117,000 in dry-cleaning services since 2018, despite having in-house staff responsible for laundry. That’s an average dry cleaning tab of more than $1,800 per month. 

It’s also enough money to dry clean 13,831 blouses, 6,204 dresses or 3,918 duvets, according to the prices at Majestic Cleaners in Ottawa. 

In 2022, Simon’s first full year on the job, she spent $2.7 million on travel, according to government records obtained by the CTF. 

Simon’s travel has sparked multiple controversies, including her nearly six-figure in-flight catering tab during a weeklong trip to the Middle East, and her $71,000 bill at IceLimo Luxury Travel during a four-day trip to Iceland. 

In the aftermath of the scandals, a parliamentary committee recommended a range of reforms to the governor general’s travel budget, including a regular review of the cost-effectiveness of trips, a reduction in the size of delegations and less spending on snacks and drinks. 

“The platinum pay and perks for the governor general should have been reined in years ago,” Terrazzano said. “A serious government would mandate the governor general’s office be subject to access-to-information requests, cut all international travel except for meetings with the monarchy, end the expense account for former governors general, reform the pension and scrap the clothing allowance.”

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Franco Terrazzano
Federal Director at
Canadian Taxpayers

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