Here in Canada we have a (some say redundant) Governor General position. The person to fill this position is chosen by the Queen (or current monarch) of England, with advisement from the prime minister, as their representative of the monarchy in Canada.
Predominantly ceremonial in nature, the necessity of the role has been debated for years. Tax payers dole out an annual salary of $288K for a current Governor General and an annual pension payment of $140K for former position holders. That’s pretty lucrative for a short term position. The issue is even more controversial recently as expense reports (over and above her pension) for former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson were revealed by the National Post as over extravagant. To the tune of a million dollars overly extravagant. After her mere six year stint as our Governor General.
These expense claims are not currently made available to the public. In this day and age of promised transparency (at least in an election year) and accessibility to information seeking technology (google), one would think this information would be easy to find. Doesn’t it make you wonder what other former Governors General are claiming as their expenses?
Our prime minister has promised to “look into it” but that doesn’t give too many people (myself included) a warm fuzzy feeling. Especially as his priorities do not appear to be focused on the concerns of taxpayers. I have a feeling Clarkson’s expenses are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.