A large majority of Canadians believe a governor-general who resigns before the end of their term should be entitled to neither their pension nor allowance related to their former position as viceroy, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News. The poll also found that while support for ending ties with the monarchy is at it highest levels in a decade, Canadians also see the monarchy as an important part of Canadian identity.
Majority Believe Governor-General Who Resigns Should Not Entitled to Pension or Benefits
With Julie Payette being the second governor-general to resign (after Roméo Leblanc had to do so for health reasons in the late 1990s), her abrupt departure following a scathing independent investigation into her workplace behaviour has raised questions over whether she should be entitled to collect her six-digit government pension after leaving the position. A large majority of Canadians (80%) agree that a governor-general who resigns before the end of their term should not be entitled to their pension, with nearly half (46%) saying they ‘strongly agree’. This sentiment is strongest among older Canadians, where 92% of those aged 55+ years say they agree and two-thirds (67%) say they ‘strongly agree’.
Another perk available to former governors-general is an allowance for ongoing expenses related to one’s former position as the Queen’s representative in Canada, such as travelling to give speeches. Just over a quarter of Canadians (28%) agree (6% agree/22% somewhat) that it is appropriate for former governors-general to have these expenses covered by taxpayers. Younger Canadians are significantly more likely to support this extra benefit, with 4 in 10 (40%) of those aged 18-34 years saying they approve (versus 16% among those aged 55+ years). However, the fact remains that the remaining three-quarters (72%) of Canadians believe it is not appropriate to cover these types of expenses.
Though More Support Ending Ties to Monarchy, Canadians No More Likely to Embrace Republic
The controversy surrounding the governor-general’s resignation has once again sparked the debate over the future of the monarchy in Canada. Six in ten (60%) Canadians agree that when Queen Elizabeth’s reign ends, Canada should end its formal ties to the British monarchy, with a quarter (25%) saying that they ‘strongly agree’. This is the highest level of support Ipsos has recorded for ending formal ties to the monarchy in the past decade, up seven points from February last year (when Harry and Meghan announced that they would be stepping back from their royal duties), and up twelve points from June 2011 (shortly after Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s much-awaited wedding).