Governor general salary increased by almost $40K during pandemic

Author: Ryan Thorpe 2023/02/07

The governor general’s salary increased by $39,300 since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to records obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

In 2019, the governor general’s salary was $302,800, according to information provided to the CTF by the Privy Council Office. But by 2022, that figure had jumped by 13 per cent, up to $342,100.

“Can the government prove that the governor general is providing taxpayers with $40,000 in extra value?” said Franco Terrazzano, Federal Director of the CTF. “The government continues to rubber stamp raises while Canadians are asking themselves if they can afford a package of ground beef.”

On average, the governor general received an annual raise of 4.15 per cent since 2020 — increases well above the rate of inflation during that period. The salary rose from $302,800 in 2019, to $310,100 in 2020, to $328,700 in 2021 and $342,100 in 2022.

The raises were “determined in accordance with the provisions of the Governor General’s Act,” according to a written statement sent to the CTF by a spokesperson with the PCO.

During six months of 2021, the post of the governor general of Canada was vacant following the resignation of Julie Payette on Jan. 21. Current Governor General Mary Simon was sworn in July 26.

As a result of the vacancy, the governor general’s full salary was not paid out during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 fiscal years, according to information provided by the PCO.

Former governors general can continue to expense taxpayers for more than $200,000 per year after leaving office — a perk that extends for the rest of their lives and continues up to six months after they die.

They also receive a $150,000 a year pension regardless of how long they served.

Last year, Simon found herself in hot water after news broke that her March 2022 week-long trip to the Middle East, to visit Expo 2020 in Dubai, cost taxpayers more than $1 million — including just shy of $100,000 on airplane food alone, with a menu featuring beef wellington, pork tenderloin and carpaccio.

“Why does the governor general need an extra $40,000 when they can expense taxpayers for as much beef wellington as they can stomach?” said Terrazzano. “It’s long past time the government reined in these platinum perks.”

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