PETITION: Stop The Pay Hike
Canadian Members of Parliament will get a pay raise on April 1st, the same day that the government plans to increase the Carbon Tax. This news has sparked outrage among taxpayers, who are already burdened by increasing costs. A petition has been launched, calling on Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland to Stop The Pay Hike, and it has already garnered 7,980 signatures, with a goal of reaching 10,000.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) has been particularly vocal about the issue, expressing shock at the excessive spending of Rideau Hall, the official residence of the Governor General. According to government documents, Governor General Mary Simon spent nearly $3 million on transportation costs alone last year. This included 21 flights, four of which were abroad and 17 were domestic, amounting to a total cost of $2.78 million. The CTF argues that this kind of spending is unacceptable, especially when many Canadians are struggling financially.
Franco Terrazzano, the Federal Director of the CTF, questions the necessity of the Governor General’s frequent trips and calls for a reevaluation of their travel budget. He argues that taxpayers are not receiving value for the millions of dollars spent on these trips. The CTF has urged the government to prioritize taxpayer funds and allocate them more responsibly.
In response to questions raised by Bloc Québécois MP Julie Vignola, it was revealed that Governor General Mary Simon had four trips abroad in 2022, including three visits to the U.K. Her travels were justified by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) as necessary for diplomacy and global cooperation, particularly during times of conflict. For example, Simon met with officials from the Middle East to strengthen bilateral relations and express gratitude for their assistance during the war in Afghanistan. The trips included expensive in-flight catering and accommodation, totaling $1.3 million.
The Governor General also attended the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London, along with her husband and seven others. Taxpayer money covered their airfare, ground transport, meals, lodging, and other expenses, amounting to $28,438.02, $3,157.90, $7,193.90, and $13,296.64 respectively. Simon made a third trip to London following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, incurring additional costs. Furthermore, her fourth international trip took her to Iceland for an Arctic summit themed on climate change, where Rideau Hall spent $71,000 on a luxury limo service. The total cost for lodging and related expenses for this trip was approximately $118,000.
Critics argue that these expenses are excessive and question the necessity of such lavish trips, especially in a time when many Canadians are struggling financially. However, supporters argue that the Governor General plays a crucial role in representing Canada’s interests abroad and promoting international cooperation. Global Affairs Canada defends these expenses and maintains that they are essential for Canada’s presence on the world stage.
In conclusion, the news of the pay raise for Members of Parliament, coupled with the excessive spending by the Governor General, has sparked public outrage. The petition to Stop The Pay Hike has gained significant traction, reflecting the concerns of taxpayers across the country. As the debate continues, it remains to be seen whether the government will address these concerns and take action to ensure responsible spending of taxpayer funds.