When it comes to debating the payout that politicians get after leaving office, it can become a pretty controversial topic. One ex-politician who hasn't been in office since 2005 is still charging a total of $1.1 million of taxpayers' money to date for her expenses, and there's no arguing that this particular case would make any Canadian furious.
That's right, Canada has a Jo Anne the Scammer on their hands, but rather than just being a media personality, Canadians are claiming this politician is the real deal.
The woman in question is a former governor general named Adrienne Clarkson. While she hasn't been in office since 2005, she has accumulated a whopping $1.1 million dollars of taxpayer money as part of her expenses, falling in around over $100,000 a year that is being cited as "office expenses."
The agreement allowing Clarkson to do this is part of a program that allows former governor generals the opportunity to bill their office expenses through the government for the rest of their lives. While other ex-governors are doing the same, apparently Clarkson is the only one who is billing more than $100,000 a year to the point where her expenses "show up as a separate line item in the federal government's public accounts."
According to public record, the only other governor general who has expensed more than $100,000 a year was Romeo LeBlanc who did so in 2008 and 2009. Clarkson, on the other hand, has expensed more than $100,000 during 9 out of the 12 years she has been out of office after serving as a general from 1999 to 2005.
The only years that Clarkson didn't expense over $100,000 was between 2012 and 2014, conveniently after a Toronto Star article came out exposing her high expense billings.
If you thought the $1.1 million was bad, the situation gets even worse. On top of that money, Clarkson has collected $3 million through a startup grant as well as the opportunity to get up to $7 million over the course of a decade to match private sector donations. All of this was a part of Clarkson's charity called "Institute for Canadian Citizenship."
It's fair to be pretty alarmed by the situation, considering the expense program specifically regarding ex-governor generals is a rare one in comparison to other positions in government. The initial program was penned back in 1979 and hasn't been changed since. With little to no information given to the public on where the expense money is going, the program is very clearly in need of a reboot.
Of course Canadians have been extremely vocal about this desire for a reboot as well since citizens have caught wind:
As of now, Clarkson's office is currently refusing to disclose to the media how the expense money is being spent and her executive assistant is claiming the situation to be a "private matter between the office and Rideau Hall." With Clarkson currently on a week-long Europe trip, it's safe to say she'll be coming home to chaos.
Source: National Post Canada