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The Governor General reportedly used $18 million to attend a book fair in Germany

The event occurred over four days in 2021, and the Department of Canadian Heritage incurred expenses of approximately $17.5 million, which included the cost of a $3.3 million pavilion.
on Jul 18, 2023
The Governor General reportedly used $18 million to attend a book fair in Germany | Frontlist

A federal government audit found that Canada spent over $18 million to sponsor a German book fair where Governor General Mary Simon made an appearance as a special guest. The event occurred over four days in 2021, and the Department of Canadian Heritage incurred expenses of approximately $17.5 million, which included the cost of a $3.3 million pavilion. Governor General Simon’s personal appearance cost an additional $801,418.

According to auditors, as the guest of honor, Canada had significant financial and operational obligations, which included presenting content and artists, creating an onsite pavilion, and hosting dignitaries. The costs did not cover the additional expenses incurred by other federal agencies.

No figures were provided for the “guest of honor” billing by several Canadian institutions including the Canada Council for the Arts, CBC, Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Canadian Museum of History, Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Museum of Science and Technology, Department of Foreign Affairs, Library and Archives Canada, National Film Board, National Gallery, and Telefilm Canada.

Every year, the Frankfurt Book Fair selects a "guest of honor" country. This year's guest is Slovenia. Auditors found that Canada had to award contracts to Frankfurt vendors without competition to be the guest of honor.

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