Taxpayers were billed over half a million dollars for Governor General Julie Payette to renovate her residence at Rideau Hall.

According to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), the cost of renovations totalled $502,395. The newly released figure is significantly higher than the $250,000 first reported by the CBC in August. 

Documents show a total of 15 different projects at the residence, including $139,000 to design a private staircase that never reached the construction stage. 

Taxpayers also footed $108,000 for a multimedia study room and another $104,000 for a security project in one of Rideau Hall’s wings. 

Payette, who is a former astronaut, also had a $60,000 “mission control boardroom” and a space exhibit added to the residence. 

“While various departments point fingers, the office of the Governor General has become a parade of wasteful spending stories,” said CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick. 

“Someone needs to be held responsible for this money being wasted. The Minister needs to stick up for taxpayers, and tell the NCC and the Governor General to get their houses in order.”

This isn’t the first instance where Payette has passed on a significant bill to taxpayers. 

In 2017, taxpayers had to pay $649,000 for her swearing-in ceremony as governor general, which was significantly over the $500,000 budget allocated for the occasion. 

Payette’s refusal to work with her RCMP security detail has also cost Canadians dearly. 

According to the CBC, Payette accrued a whopping $700,000 in additional security costs as a result of her difficulties and desire for privacy.

“It’s infuriating. She incurs costs that are unbelievable. It’s Canadians’ money that is not well spent because of someone who is difficult,” and RCMP source told CBC. 

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