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The governor general gifts that keep on giving

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The controversy over generous post-employment expenses for Canada’s past governors general has a “Yes Minister” feel about it.

The decades-old brilliant British comedy series about a Machiavellian senior civil servant, Sir Humphrey, and his feckless cabinet minister boss could fit so well at Rideau Hall.

Career CBC broadcaster and Canada’s 26th governor general, Adrienne Clarkson, points out that it’s “no secret” since 1979 that “post-mandate” support has been available for former governors general because “the life of a former governor-general continues to be lived in public service.”

Ms. Clarkson’s big expenses are no secret now. The National Post reports that Clarkson billed more than $100,000 in nine of the 12 years since she left office and, in some cases, she hit the annual limit of $206,000.

No secret, indeed, but most dialed-in politics watchers would be challenged to explain how someone, no longer a head of state, is entitled forevermore to bill taxpayers for staff salaries, office expenses, furniture, travel, professional services and accommodation “where appropriate.”

This is in addition........

© Saskatoon StarPhoenix