Wed | Aug 10, 2022

A catering bill cooking in Ottawa

Published:Monday | June 20, 2022 | 12:08 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

News coming out of the governor general’s (GG) residence in Ottawa, had a familiar ring to it. A spending scandal which seems to be par for the course in that position of Queen’s representative in Canada, although the GG is appointed by the prime minister. This time, it concerns Mary Simon who was appointed vice-regal last year when GG Julie Payette was forced to resign following various complaints of bullying and workplace harassment. Recent reports are that GG Simon racked up a catering bill in excess of $93,000 during a recent eight-day official visit to England, UAE, Qatar and Kuwait, with an entourage of 29 government employees. Perhaps the last of the big-time spenders was GG 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 Mr Google to refresh a few details.

It’s now very relevant that GG Mary Simon had observed and probably learnt lessons from GG Adrienne Clarkson. For reasons unknown, there’s a Beatles song playing in my cranial jukebox as I research this tawdry tale from the GG’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

Parksville, BC

Canada