canada governor general travel expense

Canada's governor general spent nearly $3 million on travel last year

The governor general of Canada, Mary Simon, racked up nearly $3 million in travel expenses during her first year in office.

According to a report from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), a non-profit organization dedicated to lowering taxes, Rideau Hall spent about $2,784,010 in 2022 on Simon's five trips abroad and over a dozen domestic excursions.

The CTF obtained the data from government documents and says that the final figure will probably be higher as the government processes costs into 2023.

"Why do Canadians need our governor general going on all these trips?" said Franco Terrazzano, CTF federal director, in the report. "Simon should have the courtesy and common sense to realize many Canadians are struggling and can't afford to pay for her expensive trips."

The CTF claims that in 2022, Simon regularly travelled with an extended entourage, including her husband, secretary, several communication strategists, and "aides-de-camp," alongside her official videographer and photographer.

The report adds that the group stayed in "pricey accommodations" like the Ritz-Carlton in Berlin, the Great Scotland Yard Hotel in London, the 1919 Radisson Blu in Reykjavik, Iceland, and the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel in Dubai, UAE.

Another example the CTF gave was the $71,000 Rideau Hall spent on a limo service in Iceland last year.

According to the report, Simon's five trips abroad account for a significant amount of her overall travel expenses for 2022.

It added that last year, the governor general's domestic travel expenses cost Canadian taxpayers $691,433.

That included a trip to Toronto in May for the Juno Awards and a stay in Peterborough, Ontario, where Simon visited the Canadian Canoe Museum in October.

Global Affairs Canada and the governor general's office have yet to respond to Daily Hive's multiple requests for comment.

Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Marilyne Guèvremont told the National Post that the Canadian government requests the governor general to travel abroad to promote the country's interests.

"As the representative of Canada's head of state, the governor general plays a critical role in international diplomacy," she wrote.

"State and official international visits are a vital way for Canada to engage in the international arena and represent the interests and values of Canada."

She added that while international diplomacy does incur costs, Global Affairs "continues to ensure that public funds are spent responsibly."

Rideau Hall spokesperson Natalie Babin Dufresne told the National Post that Simon has a variety of duties where she's required to attend events both in Canada and abroad.

The Post reported that she criticized media coverage of how much the governor general's duties cost the Canadian taxpayer.

"Media reports that insinuate that the governor general is personally responsible for spending or making extravagant requests related to these visits are categorically false," she wrote.

"All final decisions relating to expenses and logistical planning of these visits are made by Global Affairs Canada, as it relates to international visits, and the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General for domestic visits."

This report comes after it was revealed that the governor general received a hefty pay raise of $9,500 last year, bringing her salary to over $350,000 in 2023.

Lead photo by

Shutterstock/Bing Wen


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