The View From Here – Former Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson still living high at the taxpayers’ expense

Tom Henihan

Many Canadians are opposed to having a foreign monarch as the head of state and see Canada remaining under the British Monarchy as archaic and decidedly at odds with the multi-cultural, secular and progressive nation.

What is more concerning to Canadians is the role of Governor General, a plumb, ceremonial appointment as the Queen’s proxy in Canada, a role that comes with lavish digs at Rideau Hall, an extravagant expense account and no clear mandate or public function of any tangible value.

Yet, the role can be costly, especially when the tenant at Rideau Hall is a big spender like Adrienne Clarkson.

Clarkson has had a number of roles and held a number of titles throughout her “career’: journalist, cultural liaison, and Governor General among them.

With no discernable achievements, certainly not on any cultural level, Clarkson has managed to have her name become synonymous with Canadian culture.

As a quintessential Canadian cultural icon, Clarkson plays the role in a surprisingly old-fashioned, unlettered and somewhat colonial manner by being rude and supercilious.

Playing the Canadian cultural ambassador has been profitable and useful to Clarkson, yet she has always taken time to convey that she is an atypical Canadian, eminently more enlightened than most ordinary Canucks.

This notion that Adrienne Clarkson is the personification of Canadian Culture is an illusion.

Clarkson is not a cultured woman, she has instead shown herself to be an ambitious one with delusions of grandeur.

As Governor General, Clarkson’s most notorious extravagance at the expense of taxpayers was her circumpolar junket where she, as Governor General, her husband and 58 of their closest friends went on a tour to promote Canadian culture in Russia, Iceland and Finland.

The trip was slated to cost $1million, which is still a lot of money, but it ultimately cost Canadian taxpayers $5.3 million.

And that was only phase one: Clarkson and company had intended going for second round of visits to the North, but due to political opposition and public outcry the sequel was cancelled.

Fortunately, as far as we can tell, the cancellation of the second Clarkson junket did no discernable damage to the status of Canadian culture in countries bordering the north pole.

It is thirteen years since Adrienne Clarkson left the role of Governor General but it has recently come to light that she has continued to charge Canadian taxpayers expenses in the region of $100,000 a year, austensibly for public engagements related to her former role as Governor General.

However, it is a mystery how these expenses are incurred as there is no obligation or willingness on Clarkson’s behalf to inform the public as to the details of these expenses.

The cultural elite such as Clarkson can spend taxpayers’ money without offering any justification because apparently, members of the Canadian beau monde living in Toronto are not obliged to inform the canadian masses how their money is spent.


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