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Letters  

Vice-regal spending issue?

The news coming out of the Governor-General’s (G-G) residence in Ottawa had a familiar ring to it.

A spending scandal which seems to be par for the course with the Queen’s representative in Canada, although the G-G is appointed by the prime minister.

This time it concerns (current Governor-General) Mary Simon who was appointed to the vice-regal position last year when former G-G Julie Payette was forced to resign following various complaints of bullying and workplace harassment.

Recent reports are that Simon racked up a catering bill in excess of $93,000 during a recent eight-day official visit to England, U.A.E, Qatar and Kuwait, with an entourage of 29 government employees.

Perhaps the last of the big-time spenders was former G-G Adrienne Clarkson, who embarked on a much-ridiculed circumpolar junket to Russia, Iceland and Finland in 2003, with an entourage of 59 members of Canada’s social and cultural elite. That state visit cost Canadian taxpayers a cool $5.3-million, and when this latest scandal was reported I enlisted the help of Google to refresh a few details.

Surprise! Surprise! Third on the list of the 59 chosen hoity-toity delegates to benefit from that G-G’s largesse on the 22-day circumpolar extravaganza in 2003, was none other than Simon.

When she was appointed last year there was great emphasis on her Inuit mother being Indigenous, and her Caucasian father working for the Hudson’s Bay Company in the Arctic.

It’s now very relevant that Simon observed, up close and personal, the mismanagement of public money, probably learning lessons from Clarkson.

For reasons unknown, there’s was a Beatles song playing in my cranial jukebox as I researched this tawdry tale from the G-G’s residence at Rideau Hall. I hear Paul McCartney singing : “Mother Mary comes to me, There will be an answer, Let it be, Let it be.”

Bernie Smith



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