In 2021, Justin Trudeau appointed Mary Simon as another failed Governor General. Her appointment was not based on her suitability for the position, but rather on the fact she is a woman, an Inuit and had solid left leaning credentials. Ms. Simon does not speak French, one of Canada’s official languages, and her appointment has been challenged in the Superior Court of Quebec on the grounds that her appointment was unconstitutional. The case will be heard this fall.
Another reason for Ms. Simon’s unsuitability as Governor General is her love of luxury at taxpayers’ expense. She seems to have little apparent interest in meeting Canadian citizens, but enjoys meeting and conferring with foreign dignitaries, with no limits on her extravagant trips. She and her husband, Whit Fraser, have apparently decided that they should use her appointment as Governor General to provide themselves with a luxurious high life. She has run up staggering bills which ordinary Canadians must pay. She ignores all complaints about her extravagance, and has no interest in curbing her ways. Examples of her flying around the world which she undertakes at every opportunity, and on the slightest pretext include:
- The Frankfurt Book Fair which did not require her presence. However, on Oct 18th, 2021, Ms. Simon flew there for a four-day visit. Simon’s personal appearance at this event cost the taxpayer $801,418. This included five-star hotels in Frankfurt and at the prestigious Ritz Carlton in Berlin which provides champagne lunches and six course meals at $200 per person. In-flight meals for Ms. Simon and her 32-member delegation amounted to $103,203. According to Rideau Hall, Ms. Simon’s visit was to promote Canada/German relations. It would have been less expensive had Simon sent a letter on embossed Rideau Hall letterhead expressing her sentiments. Rideau Hall claims that the visit was also intended to promote Canadian authors and publishers. Book publishers have their own marketing departments and the Queen’s representative should not be a shill for the book trade.
- The Governor General cost the taxpayer $39,252 for 25,000 litres of jet fuel to fly to the climate conference in Rovaniemi, Finland in February, 2022 to deliver her speech about the dangers of carbon emissions. In her speech. Ms. Simon warned that “temperatures are warming….The natural rhythm of the North is changing”…“Today, traditional knowledge can no longer confirm to hunters and fishers that the ice is as thick as it should be, and we experience fatalities and other accidents because of it”. She apparently is not concerned how the alleged climate change affects other Canadians.
- Between March 16 and 24, 2022 on a trip to the Middle East to attend an exhibition in Dubai, Ms. Simon cost the taxpayer $93,117. This included catered meals on the aircraft with three different meal choices. This works out to $248 per plate for each member of the 28-member delegation. The food bill also included $588.33 (CDN) for lemon and lime garnishes. Other expenses included airplane fuel ($248,127), RCMP protection ($155,931), limousines, and five-star hotels. The total cost to taxpayers for the week-long junket came to $1.3 million plus.
- From May 9 to 13, 2022 Ms. Simon made an official visit to the Nunavik Region in Northern Quebec which included a one-day junket to the settlement of Kangiqsualujjuaq, not far from where she was born. Although there were no official receptions or meals during her stay, the cost to taxpayers for this homecoming event for Ms. Simon was $90,615, of which $65,896 was for a chartered aircraft. Further, what is disturbing about this was that on May 4, 2022, Ms. Simon made a grievous mistake. Governors General are supposed to be above politics and not meddle in them. Not Ms. Simon. She met with the Premier of Quebec, Francois Legault and their discussions included political matters relating to her past career as president of the Makivik Corporation, a “corporation” that exists as the legal representative of Quebec’s Inuit. Simon discussed with premier Legault (confirmed by the CBC) and also by Simon herself who later told her hometown Inuvik audience, that Legault had made a commitment to her to appoint a negotiator for an Inuit Quebec agreement. She also took the time during this visit to be interviewed by the Nunatsiaq News to discuss self-government for the Inuvik population. During this interview Simon said in the four years that remain in her term, she “hopes she can visit every Nunavik community, and see as much of Nunavut, North West Territories and Yukon as she can”. How about the rest of Canada? Simon was blatantly meddling in politics on behalf of her friends and associates.
- On August 23, 2022, Simon flew from Ottawa to Halifax for the opening ceremonies of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference. After her brief appearance, she took time for a holiday in Nova Scotia at a private residence. On 30th August, she flew back, on a military aircraft, to Ottawa for a six-minute swearing-in ceremony of a new Minister of Public Works and a new Minister Responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. After this ceremony, Simon flew back to Nova Scotia, accompanied by an “unnamed family member” to continue her vacation. The cost of this brief visit to Ottawa, according to an Inquiry of Ministry tabled in the House of Commons, was $12,589.
- Simon and her husband attended a meeting on October 22, 2022 in Reykjavik, Iceland. This four-day visit racked up over $71,000 in limousine costs alone. The conference was held in a building less than 500 metres from Simon’s hotel, or about a seven or eight minute walk. Ms. Simon insisted however, on arriving at the conference in her limousine. According to Federal Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Franco Terrazzano, “the Governor General could have bought a brand new BMW, drove it around the island, and then left it outside the airport with the keys inside and saved the taxpayer money”. Mr. Terrazzano summed up Simon’s career as the Governor General: “She clearly likes to jet around the world spending buckets of taxpayer cash, but what value are taxpayers getting out of all her fancy trips?” The response is, absolutely nothing.
Governor General Clothing Allowance
In addition to her annual salary of $342,100 as Governor General, Ms. Simon is allowed to expense up to $130,000 in clothing purchases over the 5-year mandate with $60,000 given in the first year and gradually dropping to $10,000 in the last year. This allowance exists supposedly according to Rideau Hall, because the Governor General is required to “adhere to specific clothing protocols when performing the unique state, ceremonial and public debates”. This would include “formal wear, uniforms, outerwear for specific climate conditions and garments to respect a variety of cultural, religious conventions and dress code requirements”.
The Governor General gets to keep the clothing purchased during her term in office. Many of the items purchased by Simon however, appear to be clothing for personal day-to-day business use. Simon expensed dozens of items within weeks of her appointment such as pants, dresses, shoes, jackets, and a $160 scarf. She also expensed a number of dress shoes (up to $429 a pair): $140 was paid for flat shoes and $200 for boots.
The list of clothing expensed by Simon was contained in a document tabled in Parliament in May 2023 requested by the Bloc Quebecois.
A Governor General’s Responsibility
The first responsibility of an appointed Governor General is to be a symbol of Canadian unity, embedded in the Crown, and to travel across Canada to mix with, speak with, and listen to Canadians. After nearly two years as Governor General, Ms. Simon has not yet taken the time to do so. Despite her wide ranging foreign travel, she has managed official visits to only three provinces and one territory.
Ms. Simon’s previous career
Ms. Simon’s previous career was that of public servant and political activist. Along with a number of other radical feminists in Canada, she signed a letter, dated April 2021, criticizing former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The letter was from the pro-abortion lobby group Action Canada for Population and Development (ACPD) – now ACSHR (Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights). This organization promotes not only abortion, but also the LGBT agenda and the rights of prostitutes.
The letter stated that Mr. Harper was “threatening” the whole planet by denying the reality of climate change and not opposing reliance on fossil fuels. The letter also claimed that Mr. Harper rejected gay and lesbian rights and a woman’s right to choose, all in perfect accordance with her personal left wing feminist agenda.
Ms. Simon’s past career included employment with the CBC.
In fact, it is astonishing that recent appointments to the office of Governor General include a number of former employees of the CBC. Five of the last eight Governors General were former CBC employees. These include: Jeanne Sauvé, Romeo LeBlanc, Adrienne Clarkson, Michaëlle Jean and Mary Simon. Living off the taxpayer seems to be part of their CBC experience.
The Vice Regal Office
The office of Governor General is a reminder that Canada is a Constitutional Monarchy, with all that that entails historically. The office is meant to be a unifying symbol for all Canadians. This fact seems to have escaped Ms. Simon’s notice. Instead, she is using her position as Governor General to promote her own political interests and indulge in a life of luxury.
One may respect the office, but not the officeholder. Mary Simon is unworthy of the office of Governor General.