Oct 31, 2018

By Jane Brown

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Adrienne Clarkson left Rideau Hall in 2005. But it turns out the former Governor General is still billing Canadian taxpayers more than $100,000 a year in office expenses, adding up to $1.1-million since leaving her post.

Adrienne Clarkson, Colonel-in-Chief of the Princess Patricia’s Candian Light Infantry (PPCLI), presided at the 3rd Battalion PPCLI Change of Command ceremony at CFB Edmonton on Wednesday June 13, 2018. Lieutenant-Colonel (Lt.-Col.) Adam Moore succeeds Lt.-Col. Derek Prohar as the Commanding Officer of 3rd Battalion Princess Patriciaís Canadian Light Infantry. The Change of Command Parade was followed by the Princess Patriciaís Canadian Light Infantry Colonel of the Regiment Change of Appointment from Major-General W.B. Vernon CD (Retired) to Brigadier-General V.W. Kennedy, OMM, MSM, CD (Retired). (PHOTO BY LARRY WONG/POSTMEDIA)

The expenses are paid through an unusual program which was created in 1979 that allows former governors general to bill for office expenses for the rest of their lives. It’s a program that is used by other former governors general, but only Clarkson is regularly billing more than $100,000 annually.

A National Post report says her expenses show up as a separate line item in the government’s public accounts.

But there is apparently little transparency in how the money is spent. A Rideau Hall spokesperson says the expenses can range from administrative support, office space and furniture to professional services, travel and accommodation. Canada’s access to information law does not cover Rideau Hall.

Staff in Adrienne Clarkson’s office has not been forthcoming about what the money is being spent on or how Clarkson determines what expenses are appropriate to claim. Her executive assistant describes the expense claims as a private matter between the office and Rideau Hall.

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