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Governor General spends $117,000 on dry cleaning

Author: Franco Terrazzano 2023/10/03

Canada’s Governor General and Rideau Hall have racked up a six-figure dry cleaning tab in recent years, according to records obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. 

The Office of the Secretary to the Governor General dropped $117,566 on professional dry-cleaning services since 2018, despite having in-house staff on the payroll responsible for doing the laundry. 

“When I spill half the Pizza Hut lunch buffet on my white work shirt, I don’t stick the company I work for with the dry-cleaning bill and neither should the governor general,” said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Federal Director. “This is another perk the governor general enjoys that struggling Canadians can’t afford.”

Rideau Hall’s dry cleaning tab costs taxpayers an average of more than $1,800 a month.

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

Details of dry-cleaning expenditures at Rideau Hall were released in response to an order paper question from Conservative MP Kelly McCauley (Edmonton West).

The records note “traditional laundering is done in-house at the OSGG,” but that everything from personal clothing to tablecloths, napkins and assorted linens have been sent out for professional dry cleaning. 

In May, the National Post revealed that current Governor General Mary Simon and her predecessor, Julie Payette, combined to bill taxpayers for more than $88,000 in clothing purchases since 2017. The governor general can expense up to $130,000 on clothing over their five-year mandate. 

Purchases ranged from a $3,000 “black velvet dress with silk lining” to $1,064 boots and a $450 “ecru hat.” 

“Why does the Governor General’s office need to spend so much on dry cleaning when it already has staff doing laundry and there’s a six-figure expense account for new clothes?” Terrazzano said. “Whether it’s feasting on fancy airplane food, spending a fortune on a limo service in Iceland, or staying in the finest of hotels, Rideau Hall spares no expense when it’s taxpayers picking up the tab.”

In 2021-22, the OSGG received about $33 million in federal funding. 

The governor general’s annual salary now sits at $351,600, after receiving a $48,800 pay raise since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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