Ottawa taxpayers shelled out nearly $5,000 on gifts for retiring city staff and mayors, ambassador courtesy calls and to commemorate 100th birthdays last year.
The 2021 gift registry summary for the City of Ottawa Protocol Branch shows 87 gifts were handed out, at a cost of $4,800.
The gifts included a city of Ottawa clock worth $216.75 to both former OC Transpo general manager John Manconi and former emergency and protective services general manager Anthony Di Monte when they retired.
Thank you/retirement lunches were also held for Manconi ($2,220.83) and Di Monte ($2,302.93) when they left City Hall last fall.
Wool blankets worth $56.50 were presented to former Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin, former Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and former Integrity Commissioner Robert Marleau in 2021 when they left their positions.
Ottawa athletes also received a congratulatory gift for their success in 2021. Olympic gold medalist Vanessa Gilles received a $130 Pewter Vase after Canada’s women’s soccer team won gold, while tennis player Gaby Dabrowski received a $212 maple hollow box for winning the National Bank Open Championship.
Other gifts from the City of Ottawa’s Protocol Office included 34 Ottawa, Canada books ($50 each) for Ottawa residents celebrating a 100th birthday and 21 Ottawa, Canada books delivered during courtesy calls with ambassadors.
The Office of Protocol spent $4,181.99 for 94 gifts in 2020 and $10,165.54 on 342 gifts in 2019.
The Office of Protocol also hosted 18 events in 2021, costing more than $81,000. The two largest events were Order of Ottawa ceremonies for 2020 ($17,509.70) and 2021 ($18,981.34). All Office of Protocol events were canceled and postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so the Order of Ottawa ceremonies were both held last year.
The Office of Protocol and Intergovernmental Affairs provides leadership and coordination in the city’s ceremonial, protocol and diplomatic activities, according to the city.