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Study on Cost of the Canadian Monarchy - 1999 | La Ligue monarchiste du Canada

The Cost of Canada’s
Constitutional Monarchy

74 CENTS PER CANADIAN



Commissioned by The Monarchist League of Canada, 1999

Written by Sean Palmer & John Aimers
Principal Research by Sean Palmer
Additional research by Geoffrey Little
 

The Canadian Crown

It may surprise many Canadians to learn that under normal circumstances, the Dominion’s tax payers do not pay a single cent to assist in meeting the routine expenses of their Queen. This is true because Her Majesty presides over the 16 Realms of which she is Sovereign from offices located in Buckingham Palace and with the help of her Household in London, the costs of which operation are provided through the Civil List, which is itself a return from the Westminster Parliament of a small part of the revenue of Crown Lands formally surrendered at the beginning of each Reign. Thus, the direct maintenance of Canada’s Head of State is not the responsibility of any Canadian government.

However, because Her Majesty cannot be present in Canada all the time, she appoints representatives who act in her name to perform the constitutional and social responsibilities of the Crown, the principal one of which is to provide oversight of the constitutional operation of this nation’s 11 sovereign governments. On the advice of her Prime Minister, the Queen - in respect of the Governor General - and her Governor General - in respect of the Lieutenant Governors - appoint representatives who exercise the powers of the Crown.

The Governor General is appointed for a time in office customarily no less than five years. At the federal level, Her Excellency’s responsibilities are similar to those of the Monarch. She kindles pride in the accomplishments and bravery of Canadians, civilians and military alike, by presenting Awards, Decorations and other recognition on behalf of the Queen, the fount of honour. She acts also as guardian of the national conscience - "to encourage the spirit of nationhood and warn against its neglect," as the late Rt Hon Vincent Massey put it. She performs ceremonial functions, oversees the constitutional functioning of the federal government, summons and dissolves Parliament, selects a Prime Minister, offers advice, encouragement and warning to the government, and exercises the Queen’s reserve powers if need arises. The Governor General in council appoints, in the Queen’s name, a Lieutenant Governor for each of the nation’s provinces. These Lieutenant Governors represent the Queen in the r ight of each province and are also federal officers.

The cost of the Monarchy to Canada, then, is not a salary or expense which benefits or supports the Sovereign or the Royal Family. Rather the costs are incurred on behalf of an institution, the structure of government called "constitutional monarchy," and to all those officers who execute the necessary functions of such a system of government. What follows is the cost of maintaining these officers, their households, offices, and staff. In short, this is the cost of the most fundamental element of the Canadian system of government.

Governor General

In the absence of the Monarch herself, her representative the Governor General stands in her place. The federal government grants Rideau Hall a sum of money in each annual budget in order to enable its occupant to perform essential duties. These funds provide "for the payment of the Governor General’s salary, for the costs of the Governor General’s annual program including visits in Canada and abroad, for citizens access and visitors services program at Rideau Hall and the operation of the office and residences." In the budget for the year beginning in April of 1999, the government granted the Governor General’s Office an Operating Budget of $8,679,000. Added to this was $2,297,000 for "honours". These honours provide "for the administration of programs in the "National Honours System," which includes the Order of Canada, the Order of Military Merit, the Meritorious Service decorations, Bravery Decorations and certain other recognitions to citizens such as the Caring Canadians Award . In addition, $684,000 was granted for "expenditures in respect of the activities performed by former Governors General". Combined these figures total $11,660,000 and are comprised of the following anticipated expenditures.

ESTIMATES FOR THE GOVERNOR GENERAL 1999-2000

Personnel..........................................................................................................6,675,000

Transportation & Communication................................................................1,120,000

Information..........................................................................................................325,000

Professional and special services.................................................................1,400,000

Rental...................................................................................................................125,000

Purchased repair and maintenance...................................................................20,000

Utilities, materials and supplies....................................................................1,268,000

Construction and/or acquisition of machinery and equipment..................462,000

Transfer payments.............................................................................................265,000

Total..........................................................................................................$ 11,660,000

Another way of breaking down the budgetary allocation for the Governor General is as follows:

Program expenditures..................................................................................10,206,300

Salary of the Governor General.......................................................................102,700

Annuities payable under the Governor General’s Act................................254,000

Contributions to employee benefit plans...................................................1,097,000

Total.........................................................................................................$ 11,660,000

These expenditure schedules are particularly noteworthy in that they illustrate that support for the duties a Governor General performs make up the bulk of the expenditure. Such functions as receiving foreign dignitaries, honouring worthy citizens and supporting good causes throughout the communities of the land occur in every civilized nation, republic or monarchy. Of special interest, however, is that the Head of State’s representative is paid a salary of only $102,700. However, this salary is not taxable - so it represents a remuneration of approximately $145,000-150,000 paid to an ordinary taxpayer.

Based on these charts, the federal government has anticipated the Governor General’s office requiring $11,660,000 to carry out its essential functions. This assumption is based on previous year’s funding requirements. As Public Accounts 98/99 are not yet available to the public, it is necessary to examine the 1997-1998 accounts. Unlike the Estimates, Public Accounts do not reveal the final financial statements for the year in any more detail than that presented below.

1997-1998 GOVERNOR GENERAL EXPENDITURES IN THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS

Programs and establishment...........................................................................7,951,684

Honours......................................................................................................... ...1,624,831

Salary of the Governor General...........................................................................92,000

Contributions to employee benefit plans.........................................................908,000

Annuities payable under the Governor General’s Act..................................604,034

Former Governors General Grants......................................................................12,000

Total..........................................................................................................$ 11,197,924

For the sake of comparison the Budget for the fiscal year 1997-1998 gave estimates which totaled only $10,488,000. A supplementary estimate made halfway through the fiscal year made a further $500,000 available, but this remained insufficient to cover new demands by $216,972. Surplus money from the "annuities payable under the Governor General’s Act" reduced the shortfall by another $4,502. "Adjustments and transfers" of $212,470 made up the remaining shortfall. By year’s end the Office of the Governor General had spent $521,925 more than it had the previous year. This is an example of a situation typical of many government departments where the government fails to budget an amount of money sufficient to meet the needs of the Governor General’s Office. In such cases the budget is exceeded, and money is transferred from other departments or other areas of the office.

To establish a brief history of expenditure it is necessary to examine the 1996-1997 Federal Accounts which appear as follows.

1996-1997 GOVERNOR GENERAL EXPENDITURES IN THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS

Programs and establishment...........................................................................8,340,387

Honours......................................................................................................... ...1,657,525

Salary of the Governor General...........................................................................97,775

Contributions to employee benefit plans.........................................................792,000

Annuities payable under the Governor General’s Act..................................245,371

Former Governors General Spouses' Grants.....................................................12,000

Total..........................................................................................................$ 10,679,474

To better gauge spending trends, it is helpful to examine the amount of funds recorded as necessary to maintain the Governor General beyond recent years. Just over a decade ago, in the fiscal year 1987-1988, the public accounts recorded an expenditure as follows:

1987-1988 GOVERNOR GENERAL EXPENDITURES IN PUBLIC ACCOUNTS

Programs and establishment...........................................................................8,438,162

Honours......................................................................................................... ...1,624,831

Salary of the Governor General...........................................................................99,550

Contributions to employee benefit plans.........................................................908,000

Annuities payable under the Governor General’s Act..................................604,034

Former Governors General Grants......................................................................12,000

Total..........................................................................................................$ 11,197,924

Past Years’ Comparison

In addition to providing the totals of previous years expenditures in a tabular format, this chart also provides the 1987-88 expenditures in current dollar value. (These figures were derived by using the Inflation Index provided by Statistics Canada.)
 
 

Establishment
87-88 $ of the Day
87-88 Adjusted $
96-97 Accounts
97-98 Accounts
98-99 Estimate
99-00 Estimate
Governor General’s Establishment
11,197,924
14,893,239
10,679,474
11,197,924
11,706,000
$11,660,000

Thus it can be seen that in real terms, the expenditures of the office of Governor General have actually decreased by 21.7% over the last decade - and this during a period when public access and functions on the grounds have greatly expanded, and the Honours System (a good part of whose costs involve transportation expenses for the recipients) has also developed significantly.

Expenses for Rideau Hall and La Citadelle

An essential feature of the Canada’s Crown is the provision of two Official Residences for The Governor General. These are not expenses of his office or programme, but the maintenance and capital requirements to operate two historic Canadian buildings: Rideau Hall, in Ottawa; and La Citadelle, in Quebec City.

RIDEAU HALL

The cost of maintaining and upgrading the fabric and facilities of Rideau Hall is borne, as it is for five of the other six Official Residences, by the budget of The National Capital Commission. NCC figures reveal that over the last three years (96-97; 97-98; 98-99) it has spent a total of some $9.3 million on Rideau Hall, broken down as follows:

Expense
96-97
97-98
98-99
Operating
$1,185,969
$1,430,387
$1,565,729
Capital
$953,373
$2,097,343
$1,171737
TOTAL
$2,139,342
$3,527,730
$2,737,466

LA CITADELLE

The expenses for the Quebec home of Their Excellencies is covered by the budget of the Department of Public Words and Government Services. The expenditures for operations, maintenance and minor repairs for the most recent three fiscal years reveal the following:

Expense
96-97
97-98
98-99
TOTAL
$453,191
$538,458
$440,547

Federal Expenditure on behalf of Lieutenant Governors

The Federal Government’s responsibility for the expenses of the Constitutional Monarchy such as Canada’s does not end with the Governor General. For provincial purposes a Lieutenant Governor represents the Queen and provides the formal Executive for the Province as much as much as the Governor General does for the Dominion Government. At the same time, the Lieutenant Governors are also federal officers. Thus their salaries, and even some of their expenses, are underwritten by the federal government. In the 1999-2000 budget, Ottawa anticipated spending a total of $1,308,100 on behalf of the Lieutenant Governors. This expenditure can be divided into three primary areas. First, the largest portion of the funds pays the Lieutenant Governors salaries. Each Lieutenant Governor receives an annual indemnity of $97,200. the salaries for the Lieutenant Governors in 1998-1999 totaled $920,000, but on January 1, 1999, they were accorded a $5,200 cost-of-living adjustment. Unlike the case of the Governor General’s salary, the Lieutenant Governors’ are fully taxable. (At the present time, Their Honours the Lieutenant Governors of Ontario and New Brunswick either do not accept their salary or donate it to charitable purposes.) The second are of federal expenditure is a grant for expenses incurred for functions within the province’s capital city. The third amount of money is an allowance for "Out of Capital City Expenses". Both these sums are designed to assist the Lieutenant Governors in carrying out their responsibilities. Because each province is a unique territory, there is variation in the amount each receives from the federal government.

FEDERAL EXPENDITURES IN SUPPORT OF LIEUTENANT GOVERNORS

1999-2000 ESTIMATES

Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

Lieutenant Governor’s Salary.............................................................................97,200

Grant for In Capital City Expenses.....................................................................19,000

Allowance for Out of Capital City Expenses.......................................................14,382

Total............................................................................................................$ 130,582

Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia

Lieutenant Governor’s Salary.............................................................................97,200

Grant for In Capital City Expenses.....................................................................22,800

Allowance for Out of Capital City Expenses.......................................................14,382

Total............................................................................................................$ 134,382

Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba

Lieutenant Governor’s Salary.............................................................................97,200

Grant for In Capital City Expenses.....................................................................19,000

Allowance for Out of Capital City Expenses.......................................................14,382

Total............................................................................................................$ 130,382

Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick

Lieutenant Governor’s Salary.............................................................................97,200

Grant for In Capital City Expenses.....................................................................15,200

Allowance for Out of Capital City Expenses.......................................................14,382

Total............................................................................................................$ 126,782

Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland

Lieutenant Governor’s Salary.............................................................................97,200

Grant for In Capital City Expenses.....................................................................22,800

Allowance for Out of Capital City Expenses.......................................................14,382

Total............................................................................................................$ 134,382

Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia

Lieutenant Governor’s Salary.............................................................................97,200

Grant for In Capital City Expenses.....................................................................15,200

Allowance for Out of Capital City Expenses.......................................................14,382

Total............................................................................................................$ 126,782

Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

Lieutenant Governor’s Salary.............................................................................97,200

Grant for In Capital City Expenses.....................................................................22,800

Allowance for Out of Capital City Expenses.......................................................14,382

Total............................................................................................................$ 134,382

Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island

Lieutenant Governor’s Salary.............................................................................97,200

Grant for In Capital City Expenses.....................................................................13,680

Allowance for Out of Capital City Expenses.......................................................14,382

Total............................................................................................................$ 125,262

Lieutenant Governor of Quebec

Lieutenant Governor’s Salary.............................................................................97,200

Grant for In Capital City Expenses.....................................................................22,800

Allowance for Out of Capital City Expenses.......................................................14,382

Total............................................................................................................$ 134,382

Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan

Lieutenant Governor’s Salary.............................................................................97,200

Grant for In Capital City Expenses.....................................................................19,000

Allowance for Out of Capital City Expenses.......................................................14,382

Total............................................................................................................$ 130,582

According to these figures the Federal government expects that it will require $1,308,100 during the current fiscal year in order to cover the Lieutenant Governors’ salaries and its share of their expenses. However, there are additional costs for Ottawa to meet. In addition to salaries and expense allowances, the Department of Canadian Heritage also provides payments required by the "Lieutenant-Governors Superannuation Act." This outlay to provide pensions for former Lieutenant Governors is expected to cost $458,000 this year. There are further "Supplementary Retirement Benefits" for the former Lieutenant Governors which will likely cost approximately $182,000. It is important to note that the pensions and Supplementary Benefits are not ex gratia payments, but are funded by contributions made in the customary fashion by the Lieutenant Governors while in office: 6% of their annual salary and an additional 1% towards the Supplementary Benefit, which enables indexation of the pension. This money is paid into the general revenues of the Government, but when the former Governors draw their pensions the charge is to the specific Canadian Heritage account.

Thus, the total amount of money the federal government has budgeted to cover its obligations to the Provincial Lieutenant Governors for 1999-2000 is $1,948,100.

An important note must be made regarding these figures for previous years. "In capital city" grants are listed in the Federal Main Estimates and Accounts, but the "out of city" allowances are not. These funds are part of a larger sum of federal expenditure which is not broken down in the Estimates. This, unfortunately, makes it difficult if not impossible to calculate an accurate federal expenditure on the Lieutenant Governors for previous years. It is interesting to note that the Lieutenant Governors, along with the Governor General, accepted a wage freeze between the years 1991 and 1996.

Commissioners of the Canadian Territories

Many Canadians are under the impression that the Commissioner appointed for each Territory wield authority in the same way as the Governor General and Lieutenant Governors. However, this is not the case. While Territorial Commissioners do wield similar executive and reserve powers, and some recent cases provide interesting parallels between their functions in this respect and those potentially exercisable by the Queen’s representative, it must be made quite clear that they do not represent the Sovereign, nor do they preside over sovereign governments. Commissioners are not appointed by the Queen, but by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. Thus federal expenditures for the Commissioners (salaries and travel subsidies) do not fall within the ambit of this survey. The most recent figures available showed an annual expense of some $250,000 for the Commissioners, but this will rise with the appointment of a third Commi ssioner, for Nunavut.

Provincial Expenditure on Lieutenant Governors

Of course, the federal government does not cover the entire cost of the Lieutenant Governors. As they perform essential functions as an integral part of the provincial governments, much of their expenses are paid for by the provinces. As shown above, the federal government pays the Lieutenant Governors’ salaries, and some of the expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. It follows that the provinces pay for all other costs of the office. Unfortunately it is difficult to determine exactly what "all other costs" are!

The Lieutenant-Governors’ Offices across the country are afforded varied financial resources. For example, in 1998 British Columbia budgeted $1,344,948 for the Lieutenant-Governor’s establishment. Prince Edward Island budgeted for $355,000. The temptation is to rationalize the difference as reflecting nothing more than these two provinces’ differing territory and population. However, this would be inaccurate. While those factors certainly do affect the funding required by a Lieutenant Governor, they are not the sole reasons for discrepancy. Across the country ten different Lieutenant Governors are granted widely-differing range of facilities to aid them in their duties. Eight provinces offer an official residence, for example. However even this seemingly cut and dried statistic must be interpreted carefully. Each province has built residences or office suites to differing specifications. Three provinces have a residence and a separate office while the others have one or the other. Other com plicating factors include the uses the residences are put to. For example, in British Columbia, Government House is not for the exclusive use of His Honour, but is made available for functions hosted by the Premier and Cabinet.

Provincial Expenditures on Lieutenant Governors 1997-1998

The most recent Public Accounts which are readily accessible across the country are for the 1997-1998 fiscal year. From those accounts the following expenditures and their breakdowns can be drawn.

Manitoba

Salaries and Employee Benefits..........................................................................92,000

Other Expenditures............................................................................................62,500

Total............................................................................................................$ 154,500

New Brunswick

Salaries............................................................................................................185,500

Other Services...................................................................................................39,400

Materials & Supplies............................................................................................5,400

Property and Equipment.......................................................................................5,600

Grants................................................................................................................52,600

Total............................................................................................................$ 288,500

Newfoundland

Salaries............................................................................................................374,734

Transportation and Communication.....................................................................17,549

Supplies.............................................................................................................30,085

Purchased Services.............................................................................................26,336

Properties and Equipment.....................................................................................7,017

Total............................................................................................................$ 455,721

Nova Scotia

97-98

Salaries............................................................................................................280,563

Government House............................................................................................18,000

Printing................................................................................................................7,134

Telephone..........................................................................................................12,696

Paid Trade Centre (functions).............................................................................. 6,289

Accounts under $5000.......................................................................................24,444

Recovered from other departments.......................................................................6,402

Total............................................................................................................$ 342,725

Ontario

Salaries & Wages.............................................................................................375,780

Employee Benefits..............................................................................................67,325

Transportation and Communication.......................................................................9,802

Services.............................................................................................................36,361

Supplies & Equipment........................................................................................14,589

Discretionary Allowance...................................................................................105,800

Total............................................................................................................$ 609,657

Prince Edward Island

Salaries.............................................................................................................177,136

Travel and Training................................................................................................2,966

Professional & Contract Services........................................................................68,164

Materials & Supplies & Services.........................................................................66,603

Equipment.............................................................................................................5,459

Administration.....................................................................................................20,834

Total.............................................................................................................$ 341,162

Quebec

Total............................................................................................................. $ 746,000

(Public Accounts breakdown not yet available)

Saskatchewan

Salaries..............................................................................................................126,000

Travel..................................................................................................................29,000

Communication....................................................................................................16,000

Contract Services.................................................................................................50,000

Supplies...............................................................................................................53,000

Equipment.............................................................................................................2,000

Total .............................................................................................................$ 276,000

The figures for the remaining two provinces, Alberta and British Columbia, require special explanation:

British Columbia

Salaries.............................................................................................................302,011

Supplementary Salaries..........................................................................................1,172

Benefits...............................................................................................................62,516

Public Servant Transportation....................................................................................436

Communication....................................................................................................34,088

Supplies...............................................................................................................30,216

Official Car Fuel & Insurance.................................................................................4,223

Official Car Lease..................................................................................................8,165

Building Occupancy Expense..............................................................................671,271

Information Technology........................................................................................19,113

Miscellaneous Expenses.....................................................................................260,126

Income: Authentication Revenue.........................................................................(58,514)

Total...........................................................................................................$ 1,334,823

The Lieutenant Governor’s Office in British Columbia has the largest apparent expenditure of all the provinces. The reason for this is not so much that the Lieutenant Governor there incurs greater expenses than any others, but that every expense is billed to their office. (In most Provinces, expenses incurred on behalf of a Lieutenant Governor by, for instance, Provincial Police supplying transportation or aides, are not included in the estimates of the Office, but are "buried" in the accounts for the department(s) providing those services.) As well, a significant factor in determining the amount of expense which will appear next to the Lieutenant Governor’s heading in the financial accounts is determined by the responsibilities his government will place upon him. British Columbia is a prime example of this. A decade ago, in the fiscal year, 1988-1989, British Columbia paid only $366,404 to maintain its Governor. Adjusted to coincide with inflation, that is $ 487,317 in today’s dollars. However, in recent years the Office’s expenses have been much higher, indeed, the highest in the country. Minor increases in expenditure caused a slight rise in costs, but by far the bulk of the increase falls under a heading created only this decade. "Building Occupancy Expense" was originally absorbed by another department. This cost, some $671,271 in 1997-98, is now charged to the Lieutenant Governor’s office. Such a drastic increase in costs is easily detected and can then be explained. However, other provincial governments may make similar but less noticeable changes in their accounting procedures at any time. So not only is it difficult to accurately compare the costs of Lieutenant Governors’ establishments across the country, it is now also very difficult to compare present costs to past ones.

Alberta

Total.............................................................................................................$ 165,000

Alberta is also in a special situation, but one very different from British Columbia’s. Instead of every charge being applied to the Lieutenant Governor’s budget, very few are. The Office of the Lieutenant Governor in Alberta shares many facilities, and resultant costs, with other departments of the government, primarily the Executive Council. As a result the Alberta government budgets only for items such as the Office’s salaries, equipment and supplies, for the lease of the official car, and its fuel. Much of the transportation budget, for example, is shared with other government personnel. This is why Alberta appears to have the smallest annual expenditure of all provinces. It is important to remember however, that this may only be an appearance.

Analysis of the Provincial Funding for the Lieutenant Governors

The figures obtained from the provincial budgets and Public Accounts are helpful indicators of vice-regal costs, but they require careful examination and interpretation. Understanding where, and how a government places financial responsibility is a crucial step in determining the cost of any department, especially one as complex as the Lieutenant Governor’s Office. In actually one of the most difficult facets of analyzing the costs of the Crown in Canada is determining where in the financial records each provincial government has placed the costs of its vice-regal office. In some cases, the office appears quite understandably under the heading of Executive Council. Such is the case in Quebec, Alberta, and New Brunswick. Saskatchewan lists the expenditures under the heading "Intergovernmental Affairs", while Manitoba lists them under "Government Services", and Prince Edward Island - curiously - under the "Department of Transportation and Public Works." Unfortunately there is little u niformity across the country in this matter. There is also little consistency with regard to the breakdown of each sum spent of the Lieutenant Governor’s Office every year. Some provinces offer detailed accounts of virtually every expenditure down to the penny, while others provide only a line or two rounded to the nearest thousand dollars.

Provincial Expenditures on Lieutenant Governors 1996-97 through 1990-2000

The following table illustrates trends in the total expenditures of the provinces and territories on their viceroys and commissioners. As with the Governor General above, the fiscal years 1996-97, 1997-98, 1999-2000 are provided. For comparison’s sake the accounts for the year 1987-88 are also provided, along with the same figures adjusted to today’s dollar value. Those provinces which have not released Public Accounts for a given year as of time of writing (7/99) are marked with an asterisk. In those cases, the budgetary estimates for that year are employed.

Province
87-88 $ of the Day
87-88 Adjusted $
96-97
97-98
98-99
Ontario
545,431
725,423
592,100
609,857
676,500
Quebec
457,000
811,448
716,000
746,000
552,700*
Nova Scotia
353,740.70
470,475
318,641
342,699
361,000*
New Brunswick
206,119
274,138
277,980
288,500
289,500*
Manitoba
Unavailable
Unavailable
253,700
161,100?
164,000*
British Columbia
Unavailable
Unavailable
1,332,494
1,334,823
1,344,948*
Prince Edward Island
342,840
455,977
400,204
341,162
355,000*
Saskatchewan
98,533.74
131,050
248,000
276,000
275,000*
Alberta
114,332
152,062
163,000
165,000
165,000
Newfoundland
501,774
667,359
664,200
455,721
488,000*

To assist in the analysis of the above figures the following table is provided to examine the relative sizes and values of each Lieutenant Governor’s establishment.

Lieutenant Governors' Households Summary
 
 

Province
Official Residence
# of Rooms
Staff at Residence
Places for Dinner
Capacity for Receptions
Office at Legislature
Office Staff
Cars
Ontario
No*
N/A
N/A
40
350 Reception rooms at Queen’s Park
Yes
8
1 **
Quebec
No
N/A
N/A
20
50
Yes
4
2
Nova Scotia
Yes
23
7
24/45/115
100 + 250
No
2
1
New Brunswick
Yes
16
3
23
85
No
3
1
Manitoba
Yes
34
2
42/110
200
Yes
2
1
British Columbia
Yes ***
102
5
42 to 325
350
No
6
1
Prince Edward Island
Yes
29
3
24
600
No
2
1
Saskatchewan
Yes ****
N/A
N/A
90 *****
200
No
3.5
1
Alberta
Yes
8
1
12
85
Yes
2
1
Newfoundland
Yes
19
14
22
200
No
3
2

  * A suite at a Hotel is made available if the Lieutenant Governor is not a resident of Toronto.

** The car is provided by the Ontario Provincial Police.

*** The residence is not for the exclusive use of the Lieutenant Governor. (Hospitality areas are used with His Honour’s permission by the government.)

**** His Honour is housed in a condominium in Regina.

***** Government House, the former Official Residence is now a museum. The Lieutenant Governor’s Office is located there.
 
 

Royal Homecomings

After all of the Royal representatives’ expenses have been tallied, there remains one further area of expense to the Canadian people in maintaining the Constitutional Monarchy. This is the cost of Royal Homecomings - sometimes called "Royal Tours." Members of the Canadian Royal Family, based in Britain, return home to Canada for a variety of purposes: to support a Regiment or organization of which the Royal is Colonel or Patron; to take part in a Study Conference; to vacation; to mark a significant event in a community’s life. The reasons are diverse. However, increasingly the homecomings are deemed "private visits," which means that the basic expense is borne by the host organization(s), where the federal government’s involvement is limited to security and other logistical expenses.

For official homecomings, or the official portion of private visits (such as the recent visit of Princes Charles, William and Harry to British Columbia), the federal government may provide the cost of air travel on Canadian Forces aircraft, traveling expenses incurred by federal officials attached to the tour, as well as hospitality functions hosted on behalf of the Government of Canada. Also, the expenses incurred by members of the Royal Household traveling to Canada for a reconnaissance tour, as well as the cost of printing the official programme, and the media itinerary programme are the federal government’s responsibility.

Each province which will be receiving the Royal Party also bears some financial responsibility. The province is responsible for the expenses of its officials, hospitality expenses incurred on behalf of the province, as well as any medical costs that may be required by members of the Royal Party.

The federal and provincial governments equally share the expenses for the accommodation of the Royal Party which also usually includes office accommodation for Palace secretaries, motorcade vehicles, and the operations of media centers. It is important to note that other costs incurred by organizations on the itinerary are the responsibilities of those organizations, whether or not they are government entities.
 
 

Federal Expenses Incurred through Royal Homecomings

As has been widely reported, the federal government budgets $450,000 annually for royal homecomings. In the event that the total amount is not needed, it is transferred to another department requiring funds.

Here follow several examples of federal costs incurred during Royal Homecomings, but they are necessarily incomplete. These are expenses for which Canadian Heritage have been responsible and do not include costs incurred in other departments. The RCMP, Canadian Forces, and National Defense, are three examples of other such departments whose costs in supporting Royal Tours are difficult, if not impossible, to determine.

1996

The Prince of Wales traveled to Ottawa, and then through Ontario, Manitoba and New Brunswick.

Total Federal expense: $298,000

1997

H.M. The Queen traveled to Ottawa, and through Newfoundland and Labrador, and Ontario.

Total Federal expense: $950,000

1998

The Prince of Wales (accompanied by Prince William and Prince Henry) visited the Vancouver area prior to enjoying a ski holiday at Whistler.

Total Federal expense: $83,000

Annual Total Costs for the Monarchy in Canada

By adding the cost of the Governor General’s Office, the Official Residences of The Governor General, the federal and provincial expenditures on behalf of the Lieutenant Governors and the cost of Homecomings to Canada by members of The Royal Family, the total cost of maintaining Canada’s constitutional monarchy can be determined.

Annual Totals
1996-97
1997-98
1998-99
Annual Federal Totals for Governor General
10,679,474
11,197,924
11,706,000
Annual Provincial Expenditures for Lieutenant Governors
5,270,308
4,984,026
5,015,648
Annual Federal Totals to Lieutenant Governors
1,784,245
1,789,620
2,065,561
NCC operating and capital expenses for Rideau Hall

Public Works operations, maintenance & minor repairs expenses for La Citadelle

Federal expenditures for Royal Homecomings

2,139,342
 
 
 
 

433,191
 
 
 
 
 
 

450,000

3,537,731
 
 
 
 

538,458
 
 
 
 
 
 

1,033,000

2,737,466
 
 
 
 

440,547
 
 
 
 
 
 

450,000

Annual Total for Entire Monarchy
20,756,650
23,080,759
22,415,222

 

Conclusion

The cost of the constitutional monarchy in Canada is an expense not easily calculated. There is no consistency in expense recording practices, and even if there were, the vagaries of governmental organization and accounting reporting make numbers at best an at best an approximation. The variety of requirements, facilities, and expenses incurred by vice-regal representatives across the country can only be matched by the diversity of the Canadian population itself. The search for figures revealing the cost of maintaining the Canadian system of government is a far ranging one, which incorporates many governments and departments from coast to coast. Some additional expenditures, such as the occasional conferences of Lieutenant Governors’ Private Secretaries, take place at irregular intervals.

Taking the total government expenditure on the monarchy in 1998-99, $ 22,415,222 , and dividing it by the population of Canada as of July 31, 1998 (30,301,200) (11), produces a figure revealing that the annual cost of the Crown per Canadian is 74 cents. Has ever a country been so well served and so proudly identified for so paltry an amount ?
 
 

The authors would like to express their appreciation for the prompt and cheerful help of members of vice-regal households and the staffs of parliamentary and legislative libraries as well as many other public servants in Ottawa and the provincial capitals whose assistance was invaluable in their research.
 
 


FOR COMPARISON

What do Canadians pay for other national institutions and icons ?

  • RCMP Spokesman Sgt Andre Guertin tells CMN that
the annual cost of the Musical Ride is $2.8 million

(some $500,000 is recovered through ticket sales and co-sponsorships)

  • Capt. Karine Chapleau, Media Liaison, Department of National Defence, informs CMN that
the annual cost of the Snowbirds aerial exhibition team runs $13.5 million,

mounting the Ceremonial Guard on Parliament Hill each summer costs $3 million &

the Skyhawk Parachutists’ expenses are $608,000

  • Newspaper reports on September 16th revealed that
1999 renovations to the basement, Centre Block, Parliament Buildings, cost $3.6 million including $1.2 million for a tunnel connecting the East Block to the Centre Block
  • Newspaper reports on July 12th showed that the Federal Government was spending
$1.7 million on additional brightly-lit "Canada" signs atop federal buildings across Canada,

& $2.4 million in contracts with the NHL and CFL to showcase its logos in sporting venues, &

that the 1995 post-referendum campaign to ship a million flags

across the country cost $16 million