A vestige of a bygone era, the monarchy is costly to Quebeckers and Canadians: $ 67.1 million per year, according to a count made by our Bureau of Investigation.
And the resignation of the Governor General of Canada Julie Payette, because of her questionable behavior, does not help to pass these expenses.
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Many wonder if the millions launched in honorary activities, ceremonial ceremonies and expensive trips are still worth it.
“We have governors general that we treat like mini-kings or princes, and who have pensions for life and expense allowances, which end up being very expensive,” protested Renaud Brossard, of the Canadian Federation. taxpayers.
These questions are all the more pronounced given that Ottawa is showing a lack of transparency with regard to some of these dollars spent.
According to the calculations of our Bureau of Investigation, membership of the British Crown has resulted in an average annual expenditure of $ 67.1 million over the past four years.
The federal government bears the brunt of the bill with the costs of the Governor General, as well as those attributable to visits by members of the royal family who, it seems, love Canada very much.
The provinces are involved through the expenses of lieutenant governors. There are 10 of them across the country, one in each of the provincial capitals, even in Prince Edward Island.
Mr. Brossard, from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, believes that it is time to give the institution a little more modesty. In his opinion, the Governor General’s standard of living should be reduced considerably, and inspired by the much more limited attributes offered to lieutenant-governors of the provinces.
In his opinion, Ottawa should also be more transparent with respect to certain disbursements, such as the expense allowances of the governors general, the details of which are not disclosed.
In addition, the British crown, which is immensely wealthy, should cover part of its travel expenses in Canada, says Mr. Brossard. Strictly private stays, like that of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2019, should be entirely at his expense.
But why not follow the example of other countries which are considering doing so and sever our ties with this tradition?
“The monarchy is the most difficult thing to change in the Canadian Constitution, because it takes the unanimity of the 10 provinces and the federal government,” says political scientist Frédéric Bastien.
Inevitably, the recurring demands of Quebec (in particular to have more powers and autonomy) would come back to the carpet, a taboo question, according to him, in English Canada.
“It would be a real basket of crabs,” says Bastien.
$ 55.3M | OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR GENERAL (Examples of expenses)
Rideau Hall, Ottawa
Compensation of the Governor General: $ 306,067 in 2019-2020
Support from Defense and the Canadian Armed Forces: $ 6.25M in 2019-2020
RCMP support for the protection of the Governor General: $ 7.4M in 2019-2020
Federal assistance to organizations of former governors general (the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, the Rideau Hall Foundation and the Institute for Canadian Citizenship): $ 8.44M in 2019-2020
Rideau Hall Residence (National Capital Commission): $ 7.85M in 2019-2020
Retirement pensions to all former governors general: $ 747,418 in 2019-2020
Five happy retirees
Governors General (GGs) enjoy a very comfortable pension for life on leaving office. They get almost $ 150,000 a year, an amount indexed to the cost of living, which can be quite a jackpot if you retire at a relatively young age like Julie Payette or Ed Schreyer.
Another privilege: ex-GGs are entitled to reimbursement of expenses (office, representation, etc.) related to their former position, up to a maximum of $ 206,000 per year.
However, the federal government refuses to disclose exactly how much they are spending.
Adrienne Clarkson is the only one who escapes this opacity rule. Due to a specific accounting provision that applies to Mme Clarkson, we know she has raised $ 1.1 million so far thanks to this program.
David Johnston has voluntarily decided to disclose his expenses on his personal website. For the past three years, they have reached a total of $ 190,000.
RETIREMENT PENSIONS PAID SINCE THEIR DEPARTURE
$ 1.5M | ROYAL VISITS AND OTHER EXPENSES (Examples of expenses)
Royal visit in 2016 (Prince William and Kate Middleton): $ 3.9M
Swearing-in ceremony for Julie Payette in 2017: $ 649,000
Royal Canadian Mounted Police charges during Prince Harry and Meghan’s stay in 2019: $ 56,834
Annual Conference of the Governor General, Lieutenant Governors and Territorial Commissioners (provided by Heritage Canada): $ 10,000 per year
Report on the work climate at the office of the Governor General: $ 393,367
$ 10.3M | LIEUTENANT-GOVERNORS OF PROVINCES (Examples of expenses)
Remuneration of the 10 lieutenant governors: $ 1.48M in 2020
Housing allowance from the Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec: $ 24,000 in 2020
Annual federal grant from the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec: $ 147,372
Expenses of the Office of the Lieutenant-Governor defrayed by Quebec: $ 717,000 in 2019-2020
Retirement pensions for all former lieutenant governors in Canada: $ 1.3M in 2019-2020
METHODOLOGY : We have compiled the publicly available spending of the monarchy in Canada over the past four fiscal years (2016-2017, 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020). One-off expenses for the year 2020 have been added to the 2019-2020 financial year. We then calculated the average spending for the past four years.
The total cost of the monarchy could be higher since certain expenses are not made public or not available at the time of this writing.
Sources: Public Accounts of Canada, Government of Canada and provincial governments, media (CBC, National Post, Ottawa Citizen, La Presse canadienne, CTV News, Toronto Star), Monarchist League of Canada, Canadian Taxpayers Federation
Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7116