Even if Julie Payette steps down as governor general, she’s set for life

What is likely to raise eyebrows is the revelation that upon leaving office 54-year-old Payette will receive a taxable annuity of $143,242 a year for life.

Julie Payette is said to be unhappy with her role as governor general, but she can have no complaints about the pay and perquisites that come with the office.

An overview of benefits and personal considerations provided to Payette by the Privy Council Office just before her appointment in July 2017, shows that she earns an index-linked salary of $290,600. In addition, she enjoys two official residences, meals, chauffeur-driven transport, health and life insurance plans, and has her housekeeping and laundry done for her.

Pretty standard stuff for a governor general perhaps. What is more likely to raise eyebrows in the briefing note, obtained under Access to Information legislation by researcher Ken Rubin, is the revelation that upon leaving office the governor general will receive a taxable annuity of $143,242 a year for life — an amount that will be adjusted according to the cost of living index.

That may be par for the course for previous governors general. What is not typical is that Payette is only 54-years-old — considerably younger than most of her predecessors — and is rumoured to be sick of the gilded cage of Rideau Hall.