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Truly a sad state of affairs. 

Firm hired to conduct 'thorough' review of Governor General workplace allegations

Published Tuesday, September 1, 2020 9:33AM EDT
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TORONTO -- The Privy Council Office says it has engaged a third party consulting firm to conduct a "thorough, independent and impartial review" into harassment allegations within the office of Gov. Gen. Julie Payette.

The Privy Council Office released more details about the probe on Tuesday, announcing that Quintet Consulting Corporation will undertake the review.

The PCO said in a statement that the consulting firm "has been mandated to act independently" to draft a report about the nature of the concerns within Payette's office and detail next steps.

Payette's office has been under fire in recent weeks after anonymous staffers at Rideau Hall told CBC News that Payette created a toxic atmosphere and yelled at employees, sometimes reducing them to tears and prompting them to quit.

The Privy Council Office announced on July 23, that it would conduct a review into the work environment at Rideau Hall following the harassment allegations.

The Terms of Reference for the review have since been finalized.

Both current and former employees of the office of the Governor General will be invited to "voluntarily and confidentially share their perspectives" with Quintet, according to the PCO.

President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Dominic LeBlanc has also been asked to oversee the review.

LeBlanc will receive Quintet’s final report, which is expected later this fall.

Payette previously said she is "deeply concerned" by the allegations levied against her office and welcomes the probe.

"I am completely committed to ensuring that every employee who works at Rideau Hall enjoys a secure and healthy work environment at all times and under all circumstances," she said in a statement. "I take harassment and workplace issues very seriously and I am in full agreement and welcome an independent review."

Payette took over as Governor General with a five-year term beginning in October 2017, but her tenure at the post has been marred by conflicts and complaints.

A 2019 survey of Rideau Hall staff showed employees had expressed concerns about their work environment, including 22 per cent who felt they had been "the victim of harassment on the job" in the past year, and of those respondents, 74 per cent said they experienced harassment "by someone in authority over them."

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There is a permanent solution available to us that would ensure we would no longer have any concerns with our present and future GGs. We could follow the lead of other countries.

Barbados to remove Queen Elizabeth as head of state

Published
2 hours ago
IMAGE COPYRIGHTREUTERS
Barbados has announced its intention to remove Queen Elizabeth as its head of state and become a republic.
"The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind," the Caribbean island nation's government said.
It aims to complete the process in time for the 55th anniversary of independence from Britain, in November 2021.
A speech written by Prime Minister Mia Mottley said Barbadians wanted a Barbadian head of state.
"This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving," the speech read.
Buckingham Palace said that it was a matter for the government and people of Barbados.
A source at Buckingham Palace said that the idea "was not out of the blue" and "has been mooted and publicly talked about many times", BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond said.
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BARBADOS PARTING WITH QUEEN

Should Canada follow their lead?

  • Calgary Herald
  • 17 Sep 2020
  •  
img?regionKey=mEY5VBIJTmwXXnNRZY4PvQ%3d%3dANWAR HUSSEIN / GETTY IMAGES Queen Elizabeth is greeted during a walkabout in 1977 in Barbados, which has announced plans to go republican.

Barbados intends to replace the Queen as head of state within a year, which would make it the first country to do so in nearly 30 years. The British government and Buckingham Palace both said simply that this is a matter for the Barbadian people.

“The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind,” said Sandra Mason, Barbados's governor general, in a speech on behalf of Prime Minister Mia Mottley, whose Labour Party commands a majority that could speed the process.

“Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state. This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving.”

Now seems as promising a time as ever for anti-monarchists to strike anywhere in the Commonwealth. The Queen may live long, but not forever, so soon enough the pomp of a monarch's funeral will pass and life in the Commonwealth will go on.

Money will have Charles's face on it, from ear to ear, and all the functions of state governance in Canada will be carried out in his name. A new King of Canada would soon come for a visit.

“There will be a rude awakening,” said Tom Freda, co-founder of Citizens for a Canadian Republic, which advocates replacing the Queen as head of state with a democratically chosen Canadian citizen.

With Harry off in California, William unlikely to get the tap for another decade at least, and Buckingham Palace vacant for the foreseeable future, the stage is set for another episode of Canadian republicanism, which has a rich tradition of failed legal efforts.

The personality of Queen Elizabeth seems to be “the one thing that holds the monarchy together in Canada,” Freda said.

This is not institutional support, he said. It is affection for Elizabeth as the bestloved monarch perhaps ever, at least since Victoria, and longer serving, having advised prime ministers since Winston Churchill in 1952, and signed Canada's Constitution into force in 1982.

Barbados fits this idea, by taking action in the monarch's 94th year, but the project is not a foregone conclusion, even if it does not go to a referendum. Barbados has made similar vows before, as have other Caribbean countries including Jamaica, where a referendum is a common campaign pledge that has never actually happened. Guyana made the replacement official in 1970, Trinidad and Tobago in 1976, and Dominica in 1978.

The last country of the former empire to remove the Queen as head of state was Mauritius in 1992. Australia voted against becoming a republic in 1999.

In Canada, efforts have occupied jurists more than politicians. One such legal challenge ended in 2014 with an appeal ruling that forcing new Canadian citizens to swear an oath to the Queen “does not violate the appellants' right to freedom of religion and freedom of conscience because it is secular; it is not an oath to the Queen as an individual but to our form of government of which the Queen is a symbol.”

That same year, then-attorney general Peter Mackay actually put it in writing that Queen Elizabeth “cannot unilaterally deploy the Canadian Forces,” to settle a dispute with Aralt Mac Giolla Chainnigh, an Irish-canadian military man who objected to toasting the Queen at formal dinners. He lost.

The Queen's death might make republicanism more popular, but it will not make the project easier, Freda said. The British media coverage has cast the Barbados decision in light of domestic race relations issues, including the Windrush scandal of discrimination against British subjects of Caribbean ancestry.

Canadians are similarly taking greater notice of historical injustices committed in the name of the Crown, particularly against Indigenous people. But Freda does not see that as much of a factor. He would like to think so, because it would theoretically help the cause, but Canadians have a way of seeing the present monarch apart from the monarchy.

Replacing the Queen with a domestic alternative — “a truly Canadian head of state,” as it was once provocatively put by the former Liberal foreign minister John Manley — is not the same as the effort to decolonize, to undo or repair the crimes of colonial history.

“If Canada was being set up today, no one would pick monarchy as a system for head of state. We just fell into it,” Freda said.

Even the Queen's present popularity is a republican argument, Freda argues. “If you enter popularity contests, then you're asserting a republican principle,” he said, that the people's preference is important.

The thing is, he said, even those who find a foreign-based monarchy the most ridiculous or objectionable tend not to think about it very much.

SOON, CANADIAN MONEY WILL HAVE CHARLES'S FACE ON IT.

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https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/politics/pmo-failed-to-check-with-key-former-employers-before-payette-s-appointment-as-governor-general-sources/ar-BB19hcE5?ocid=msedgdhp

PMO failed to check with key former employers before Payette's appointment as Governor General: sources
 Ashley Burke, Kristen Everson 16 hrs ago


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his officials never conducted checks with Julie Payette's former employers at the Montreal Science Centre and the Canadian Olympic Committee that might have raised red flags about her behaviour with co-workers and subordinates before her appointment as Governor General, sources tell CBC News.

Multiple sources have told CBC News they were stunned by Trudeau's decision to appoint Payette in 2017. They have questioned the prime minister's judgment.

"A number of us were blown away when she got appointed," said a former board member at the Canada Lands Company (CLC), the self-financing Crown corporation that owns and operates the Montreal Science Centre. Payette was vice president of CLC and chief operating officer of the Montreal Science Centre from 2013 to 2016.

"This is a Crown corporation owned by the government," said the former board member. "You would have thought they'd call to check out her credentials."

Payette and her Rideau Hall office are now at the centre of an unprecedented third-party investigation launched by the Privy Council Office. In July, a CBC News report quoted a dozen confidential public servants and former employees who claim the Governor General belittled, berated and publicly humiliated Rideau Hall staff.

Payette received severance in 2016: sources
Payette was given severance of roughly $200,000 when she resigned from the Montreal Science Centre in 2016 following complaints about her treatment of employees, say multiple sources. In 2017, Payette left the Canadian Olympic Committee after two internal investigations into her treatment of staff, sources said.

CBC News spoke to 15 confidential sources who worked with Payette, including current and former employees and board members at the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Montreal Science Centre, the Canada Lands Company and the Canadian Space Agency. They spoke on the condition they not be named because they were not authorized to speak publicly, could lose their jobs, still work in the industry or, in some cases, continue to interact with Rideau Hall.

The Prime Minister's Office would not say if it was aware of the complaints made against Payette at these institutions.

"The Governor General is recommended on a broad range of factors and done with the appropriate due diligence," said press secretary Alex Wellstead in a statement to CBC News. "Any questions about previous roles should be directed to the organizations in question."

A spokesperson for the Governor General's office issued a statement to CBC News calling Payette an "outstanding Canadian" and "a trailblazer for women" and pushed back against the reports of workplace harassment.

"Over the course of her career, no formal complaint has ever been filed against her, nor has she ever resigned from a board of director position, including at the Canadian Olympic Committee, where she finished her term," said the statement from Payette's press secretary, Ashlee Smith.

"She has served on more than a dozen boards over the years in an exemplary manner," the statement said.

Payette accused of berating staffer at 2016 Olympics
In April of 2016 — the year Payette left the Montreal Science Centre — she was appointed to the board of the Canadian Olympic Committee. That same year, two employees of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) complained to the committee about Payette's treatment of staff, triggering internal HR investigations.

The COC board spoke to Payette about the complaints, said the sources. Payette did not apply for an extended term.

In one case, Payette was accused of berating a young female employee to the point of tears while at the 2016 summer Olympics in Rio in August, according to several current and former Canadian Olympic Committee staffers.

Payette is alleged to have screamed at the employee over having to wait with her son for a Canadian Olympic Committee vehicle to pick them up from an event they attended privately in Copacabana, the sources claimed. Payette complained it wasn't healthy for them to be standing on the street breathing in pollution for that long and called the situation "ridiculous," the sources claim.

In the second instance of a COC employee filing a complaint against Payette, say sources, Payette was accused in November of 2016 of overstepping her authority by threatening to fire an employee during a meeting for not having ready answers to her questions.

"Staff couldn't do anything to make her happy," said one former COC employee. "She would erupt out of nowhere. What she chalked up to appropriate behaviour would under every circumstance be inappropriate behaviour. We were all just supposed to sit there and take it."

When contacted about this story, Payette's press secretary suggested CBC News speak to John Furlong to provide balance to the unnamed accounts of Payette's conduct. Furlong worked with Payette on the board of Own the Podium, a not-for-profit organization that supports Canadian Olympic athletes, for several years before she joined the COC.

Furlong, the former chair of the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee (VANOC), said he witnessed no incidents of harassment involving Payette during that time and called her "an exemplary board member.

"She had a perfect attendance record. She did her homework and read the material, which was extensive," he told CBC News.

"She was very engaged, collaborative [and] involved. I would give her a very high mark for her performance there."

(Furlong is himself no stranger to controversy. He was accused in 2012 of verbal and physical abuse of First Nations students in northern B.C. decades ago, allegations Furlong has consistently and strenuously denied. The RCMP investigated and concluded there were no grounds for charges, and civil claims were either dropped or dismissed.)

In her media statement, Smith pointed out that, "shortly before her term was completed, [Payette] was appointed as a member of the International Olympic Committee Women in Sport Commission on which she still serves."

Payette became a COC board member in April 2016 after the former president Marcel Aubut resigned over a sexual harassment scandal in 2015. In the wake of the controversy, the organization vowed to make sweeping changes to prevent similar issues in the future.

In a statement issued to CBC News, the Canadian Olympic Committee said it "is not appropriate for us to make public comment on any former or current Board member on such matters and leave this to the mandate of the Office of the Privy Council." Instead, the organization pointed CBC News to its conduct policy, which states that harassment is not tolerated and says that even "one incident could be enough to constitute harassment."

"Harassment includes bullying, and can take many forms but often involves conduct, comment or display that is insulting, intimidating, humiliating, hurtful, demeaning, belittling, malicious, degrading, or otherwise causes offence, discomfort, or personal humiliation or embarrassment to a person or group of persons," reads the policy.

A former Canada Lands employee with direct knowledge of the matter said the Crown corporation could have warned the Prime Minister's Office had it reached out before Payette's appointment.

"The red flags were her relationship with her employees, her controlling attitude and her resistance to administrative authority," said a former board member.

The board of directors at Canada Lands met Payette at an annual gala in 2013. Bowled over by her charisma and celebrity status in Quebec, they rushed to hire Payette without the normal due diligence or evaluation process, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

The board members hoped Payette would woo donors and boost fundraising. But it quickly became clear Payette lacked experience in managing staff and was learning on the job, multiple sources claim.

A 'tense' and 'painful' time
The National Post documented Payette's tumultuous time at the science museum and how her behaviour foreshadowed issues later reported at Rideau Hall. Radio Canada also reported on claims that Payette had created a toxic climate there by subjecting employees to unjustified criticism.

CBC News spoke to several people who worked with Payette at the Montreal Science Centre, including former employees who claim they were victims of verbal harassment. One former staff member described it as a "tense" and "painful time" and said staff members never knew who would be the target of Payette's criticisms at a meeting.

"HR was aware," said a different source with direct knowledge. "Everyone was aware. HR were witnessing it because they were in the same meetings. Some colleagues complained directly to HR."

Senior management at Canada Lands also saw Payette sulk and turn teary-eyed in meetings if she didn't get her way, said a source. In one case, said a source, Payette pushed back against a plan for Canada Lands to commission a routine survey of employees to improve the working environment at its properties.

"Julie fought it tooth and nail," said one former Canada Lands employee. "She strongly resisted wanting it done at the Montreal Science Centre."

Canada Lands went ahead with the survey. Payette was still so upset with the project that, when an HR consultant arrived to give a presentation about the survey, Payette pointedly ignored them, according to two sources who say they witnessed the interaction first-hand.

The Canada Lands Company quietly awarded Payette a year's salary as severance when she resigned in Oct. 2016, said multiple former employees and former board members. Sources said she was paid the severance so that the federal Crown corporations managing the science museum — Canada Lands and the Old Port of Montreal — could protect their reputations.

Canada Lands said that for privacy reasons, and out of respect for current and past employees, it "will not discuss personnel matters." It did say it has a "comprehensive" policy on respect in the workplace that applies to all staff. 

"Ms. Payette's departure was her decision after serving three years at the Montreal Science Centre," said Canada Lands' VP of corporate communications Marcelo Gomez-Wiuckstern in a statement to CBC News. "She contributed greatly to the Science Centre's success and we appreciated her ideas and vision."

'I don't want to be in a room with her'
Complaints about Payette's workplace behaviour date all the way back to her years at the Canadian Space Agency in the 1990s and early 2000s. Some who worked with her there say they have no wish to interact with her again.

"I don't want to be in a room with her, unless she wanted to apologize," said one former Canadian Space Agency employee. "She would comment on people's work in a very negative and demeaning way. There is Julie Payette's way or it's not good."

Sources report Payette would lash out at staff by calling them at home during off-hours to denigrate their work.

"For me leadership is about helping others grow. She's the other way around," said one former employee. "She didn't want to help others shine."

Others describe a more professional, collegial workplace relationship with Payette. 

Fabienne Lebranchu worked at the agency on Payette's second mission to space, booking her travel tickets and expense claims. She said that when she travelled to Houston for work, Payette would invite her to her house for a glass of wine so that she wouldn't be stuck alone in a hotel room.

Lebranchu said Payette has a type-A personality, like other astronauts, and had a stressful job at the Canadian Space Agency, but she never saw her treat her colleagues poorly.

"She was very nice," said Lebranchu, adding she'd like to work with Payette again at Rideau Hall. "She appreciated the work we did for her, she would thank us and always asked us if she needed anything else for her expense claims."

Maclean's magazine has reported that, for two years in a row, Payette's office at Rideau Hall ranked among the worst in the public service for harassment complaints. An annual government survey conducted last year showed 22 per cent of respondents working for Rideau Hall claimed to have experienced harassment. Of those employees, 74 per cent attributed the harassment to individuals with authority over them.

Trudeau defended vetting process
Trudeau is now facing renewed criticism over his approach to choosing Payette for the job — selecting his personal pick for the role rather than using former prime minister Stephen Harper's advisory committee process to suggest suitable candidates.

For months, Trudeau skirted the controversy over Payette's relationship with Rideau Hall staff. He came to her defence early this month, calling Payette an "excellent" Governor General and saying he had no intention of replacing her right now. That comment upset the whistleblowers who claimed harassment — one said Trudeau's words felt like a "kick to the stomach."

In 2017, the online political news outlet iPolitics reported that police had charged Payette with second-degree assault in 2012 while she was living in Maryland; the charge was later dismissed and expunged from her record and Payette herself called the charge "unfounded".

The Toronto Star also reported that Payette had struck and killed a pedestrian while driving in Maryland in 2011. Police subsequently found Payette was not at fault.

Trudeau defended his vetting process In 2017 and said nothing in Payette's past disqualified her from the job of Queen's representative.

"I assure everyone that there are no issues that arose in the course of that vetting process that would be any reason to expect Mme. Payette to be anything other than the extraordinary governor general that she will be," he said in July 2017.

Barbara Messamore, a history professor at the University of the Fraser Valley and fellow of the Institute for the Study of the Crown in Canada at Massey College, said the advisory board is a recent innovation and Trudeau didn't abandon a time-honoured tradition. She said there's still a strong argument for using it now, in light of the recent controversy.

And if the government didn't ask the Montreal Science Museum and Canadian Olympic Committee for references, she said, it "suggests a failure of the vetting process."

"The process that was used was evidently not entirely adequate," said Messamore. "It didn't uncover some things that ought to have been known. If they did indeed know those things, I would have described them as a deal-breaker."

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  • 3 months later...

I would bet big $$$$ she was TOLD to leave “ voluntarily “. There’s no way in heel Trudeau would want an appointee of his being fired spread all over the World news. Would really put a damper on his “woke” feminist reputation. 

Governor General Julie Payette resigning over damning workplace report

 

The governor general is heading for the exit rather than be turfed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Toronto Sun has learned.

Julie Payette is set to submit her resignation as governor general ahead of the release of a report that will claim she was responsible for a toxic work environment at Rideau Hall. Had Payette not decided to resign, the Trudeau government would have sought to have her removed.

https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/lilley-governor-general-julie-payette-resigning-over-damning-workplace-report?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR2PMOriDTh6mpun-u6VRxfHZLYQ0NBrXPHhy82wVj_i1Wz0iraVOXJBOcA#Echobox=1611260068

Edited by Jaydee
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Apparently, Payette took a shot a Trudeau by defending her behaviour by saying “we all experience things differently!”  
(Trudeau’s defence for Gropegate”
 

🤣🤣🤣

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The media still doesn't have their narrative staked out and I don't know what to think - am I supposed to be happy that we are rid of the toxic Payette (except for the gazillion in pension she will collect for the rest of her life) or mad about Trudeau and his band of idiots for putting her there in the first place?

Someone please help me in case I get asked for my opinion at the Tim's tomorrow.

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You still have to pay Julie Payette’s expenses even though she just resigned as governor general due to reports about a toxic work environment at her office.
 
That’s not right.
 
And you need to tell the prime minister to stop paying Payette’s bills with your money.

Payette has been no friend to taxpayers. She racked up $65,000 in flights, meals and other expenses in her first a year and a half in office – more than fifty times more than her predecessor spent in the same time span! She also spent $649,008 on her swearing-in ceremony. The flowers alone cost $3,000!
 
But the fact she’s left office doesn’t mean taxpayers are done paying her expenses. 
 
That’s because there’s an outrageous policy still in place that has allowed former governor generals like Adrienne Clarkson to soak taxpayers for over $1.1 million with zero transparency – after they leave office!
 
This policy should have been changed years ago, but it definitely needs to change now.
            
Taxpayers should not have to pay for the expenses of governors general after they’ve retired, and especially after they resign in disgrace.
 
Please sign our PETITION telling Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to put an end to this outrageous policy. Just click this link:
 
https://www.taxpayer.com/petitions/cut-off-expenses-when-a-governor-general-leaves-office
 
Trudeau promised to “review” this very policy two years ago. But he didn’t do anything about it and retired governor generals are still sticking you with their bills. Now Payette can start sending in her receipts for you to reimburse.
 
Taxpayers need to make Trudeau cut off expenses for a governor general who retires.

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Don Martin: The GG retirement package reeks of entitlement and extravagance | CTV News

 

Despite resigning, Julie Payette still qualifies for perks such as a $149,484 annual pension for life
Brian Platt  1 hour ago

OTTAWA — Julie Payette submitted her resignation as Governor General on Thursday, but despite leaving early due to a workplace scandal she’ll still qualify for a lifetime pension of at least $149,484 per year.

 

Despite resigning, Julie Payette still qualifies for perks such as a $149,484 annual pension for life | National Post

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The Trudeau government's revolving door just keeps spinning

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s self-admitted and significant failures in judgment have led to a series of resignations possibly without precedent.

So it turns out that there is a bit more to it than simply following the scientist. Character, competence, civility and the Constitution matter.

With the resignation of the Governor General, Julie Payette, the Trudeau premiership has gone far beyond what anyone would have ever thought possible in our Canadian constitutional monarchy.

Indeed, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s self-admitted and significant failures in judgment have led to a series of resignations possibly without precedent in the entire history of Westminster parliamentary democracies.

He fired his attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, for properly resisting political pressure in prosecutorial decisions. She then resigned from cabinet. So, too, did the president of the treasury board, Jane Philpott, in protest of the prime minister’s shabby treatment of Canada’s first Indigenous justice minister. So egregious was the prime minister’s interference with the justice system that his principal secretary, Gerald Butts, also resigned. To cap it off, Michael Wernick, the country’s most senior civil servant as Clerk of the Privy Council, resigned for pressurizing Raybould at the prime minister’s behest. Theretofore it was not really thought possible to bungle things so badly as to lose the clerk.

“ Theretofore it was not really thought possible to bungle things so badly”

 

Then the conflict-of-interest fiasco over the WE paid-volunteers program brought forth the resignation of the finance minister, Bill Morneau.

To lose the governor general though is a history-beating standard. And all because he could not be bothered to learn about allegations that Madame Payette was cruel to her workplace subordinates, allegations already known before she was selected for the vice-regal post.

In fairness, it is possible that neither Trudeau nor anyone else thought to ask her beforehand whether she intended to meet the minimal requirements of representing the Queen, like living in the official residence, giving royal assent to legislation and, on occasion, meeting Canadians. He did have reason to ask her whether she planned to continue her practice of berating, bullying and publicly humiliating her staff. Or maybe he did, and thought it was worth a few days of good publicity.

The single memorable utterance from Payette’s disastrous tenure was in November 2017, when she insulted religious believers in a public speech. Her prejudice and disdain was no surprise, coming as she did from that cramped intellectual world of scientifically brilliant but philosophically illiterate secularists, but it was a shock that she was so mean-spirited in public. Now we know that she was just being true to herself.

 

Payette_and_Trudeau.jpg?quality=90&strip Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sits with Governor General Julie Payette during a swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, on Nov. 20, 2019. PHOTO BY JUSTIN TANG/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Just how acidic is Payette? In her bitter resignation statement she — certainly with malice aforethought — used the exact language the prime minister himself employed when attempting to explain his own harassing behaviour in the infamous case of the “Kokanee grope.”

We all experience things differently” she wrote, finally doing one thing governors general are supposed to do, namely to articulate the position of the government. I suppose he deserved that, unbecoming as it was.

Unbecoming behaviour in the crown does damage to the Constitution, for a constitutional monarchy depends upon the sovereign not being subject to the political branch. That doesn’t mean that the crown is not accountable, but it means that, in practice, it is of utmost importance that the crown never do anything for which she needs be held to account.

Payette’s reign of nastiness meant that the Privy Council Office — the prime minister’s secretariat — had to investigate her, employing an outside firm to do so. That is not the way our Constitution works. The prime minister is subject, in extremis, to the crown, not the other way around. And now we have the gross anomaly of the prime minister “receiving” the governor general’s resignation. It is a defining aspect of our Constitution that the crown receives the prime minister’s resignation. That constitutional inversion will now have to be righted.

“ That constitutional inversion will now have to be righted “

 

Who shall Her Majesty appoint to salvage this mess?

It cannot be, given the circumstances and under a minority government, anyone who has ever been a partisan Liberal. It would be helpful in general, and necessary in this particularity, to have someone who has affection for the crown and the Commonwealth and a deep understanding of its essential role in our public life. It would be good to have a common touch. A leader who is both civil and competent. After the dour Payette, a sense of humour would be nice.

In 2005 Paul Martin chose Michaëlle Jean to replace Adrienne Clarkson at Rideau Hall, on the grounds that if the English CBC got to have a governor general, then fairness meant that the French CBC got one, too. That same summer he elevated Hugh Segal to the Senate, a cross-party appointment of unusual quality. He got the man right but the office wrong; it should have been Segal at Rideau Hall. It is not too late to correct that.

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/raymond-j-de-souza-the-trudeau-governments-revolving-door-just-keeps-spinning?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR13B5W3g7G3O0w3JPjsUomwUsoQ2p0rUzNGUsGJ2xgd2vOwPpEkebMR79o#Echobox=1611331301

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What happens when there's no Governor General?

Philippe Lagassé, an expert on the Westminster system, talks about Julie Payette's resignation, the uncomfortable role of the Chief Justice, and what happens next.

After months of media reports about a toxic workplace at Rideau Hall, and following an independent report examining the allegations, Governor General Julie Payette announced on Thursday evening that she was resigning. In a lengthy statement she said, in part, “We all experience things differently, but we should always strive to do better, and be attentive to one another’s perceptions.” Her secretary, Assunta di Lorenzo, has also resigned.

Maclean’s spoke to Philippe Lagassé, an associate professor at Carleton University who studies the Westminster system, about what this means and what happens next.

Q: How big a deal is this?

A: It’s significant in terms of the historical significance; it’s the first resignation of this type for a Canadian Governor General. It’s also significant for the impressions that it may leave about the office and its role and who holds it, and how we go about selecting the person to hold that office.

And it’s equally significant, I think, that it appears at this stage—and we don’t know exactly—that pressure was put on her to resign, and that ultimately she chose to leave.

READ: Rideau Hall’s harassment levels are still among the worst in the public service

Q: What do these resignations tell us about the reports of conduct at Rideau Hall and the content of that independent report that we haven’t seen yet?

A: It appears that the content of the report is such that it was enough to compel Madame Payette to resign voluntarily, which is something she had appeared to resist any contemplation of up until now. Now the contents of the report, we have to wait to see them, but I suspect based on comments that have been made by Minister (Dominic) Leblanc that they were sufficient to allow the government to be fairly unequivocal with the Governor General.

Q: How does a Governor General’s resignation work?

A: She resigns to the Queen, and the Queen would effectively automatically accept it on the advice of the Prime Minister.

Q: What happens immediately now in terms of filling that role?

A: Currently, the office of the Governor General itself is vacant. And the Letters Patent 1947 (an edict that expanded the role of the Governor General) include a provision for what’s known as an Administrator, so the administrator is able to exercise the functions of the office in the absence of a Governor General—incapacity, absence and in this case, resignation. And that administrator is identified as the chief justice of the Supreme Court. So for the time being, and hopefully not for very long, the Chief Justice (Richard Wagner) has to fulfill those vice-regal functions.

Q: What are the options for what happens next?

A: One would hope that when these stories first started breaking in earnest that alternative candidates might have been identified. They might have also looked at who applied to be independent senators or others they had considered to fill other vice-regal positions at the provincial level. So perhaps within that pool would be a suitable candidate.

Others have floated the idea of asking (former Governor General) David Johnston to come back, so that might be a possibility. But one would hope that some time before the next election—and ideally within the next few months—a replacement or successor would be named by the prime minister and appointed by the Queen.

Q: On that note, what are the implications of this occurring during a minority parliament?

A: I would be somewhat uncomfortable—and I would imagine the Chief Justice would be somewhat uncomfortable—with having to dissolve Parliament if it’s not done on a vote of non-confidence, if it’s done at the discretion of the Prime Minister during a pandemic. I have basic discomfort with the fact that we rely on Supreme Court justices to serve in these capacities, simply because it conflates roles that shouldn’t be conflated. The Letters Patent were written at a time when the Court wasn’t as supreme as it is currently. After 1982 with the codified Constitution and the importance of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Court has taken on such a significant role in Canadian constitutionalism that it adds extra discomfort that might not have existed in 1947.

So I would say that it’s not a solution is that is viable for very much longer.

READ: First reports of a toxic workplace environment in Payette’s office

Q: What principles or concerns should be top of mind when they’re thinking where to go from here?

A: I think one of the good lessons learned from this experience that should inform future appointments is that whoever is selected has the right character for the job. And I don’t mean that as a slight against any of Madame Payette’s accomplishments, but simply do they want to be in a very public role, living in a public residence, with everything that implies? Do they want to do public events, engage regularly with Canadians, do patronage work with charities? Do they want to do the job, as opposed to simply hold the office? It’s one thing to hold an office, it’s another thing to do the tasks associated with it, or do them openly and willingly and happily.

Q: Do we know about what severance or pension would be available to Madame Payette and to Assunta di Lorenzo?

A: For Madame Payette, it would be listed in the Governor General’s Act (it is about $143,000 a year for life).

Q: And that would not change under these circumstances?

A: No, it wouldn’t. And it also comes with $100,000 a year to support whatever activities are tied to her having been Governor General.

Ms. di Lorenzo was appointed under the Public Service Employment Act, and although that is an at-pleasure appointment, those types of appointments are still considered to come with severance if you are discharged. Now the fact that she resigned may change that, but I suspect that it was probably negotiated that she would have some kind of severance.

 

 
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Warren Kinsella: 

MY LATEST: TRUDEAU’S SCAPEGOATS

Usually, when Justin Trudeau is looking for someone to throw to the lions, he prefers women.

Jane Philpott was one; she got kicked out of the Trudeau Liberal Party for telling the truth, and for refusing to go along with obstruction of justice. Oftentimes, however, Trudeau exhibits a fondness for scapegoats who are both women and minorities.

Indigenous leader Jody Wilson-Raybould fit both requirements, and was exiled and defamed by Trudeau because she – like Philpott – believed in the rule of law. Bardish Chagger came perilously close to Wilson-Raybould’s fate for the WE scandal. But Bill Morneau – a white guy! – got the bullet instead.

That was almost unprecedented. It should’ve been a Heritage Minute, it was so historic.

In the unseemly groping case, unearthed years after the fact, Trudeau again blamed the woman (the victim). She said he groped her, a reporter, at a beer festival and – when the whole sordid mess came to light – this is what he said about the woman (the victim). It’s a quote.

“Who knows where her mind was,” said the Feminist-in-Chief, deftly (a) declining to take responsibility for what would likely be a charge of sexual assault for a lesser mortal and (b) insinuating that the victim’s “mind” was, well, not all there.

Nice guy. Real feminist.

He was at it again, last week, when it was revealed to all and sundry that ex-Governor General Julie Payette had fewer people skills than Hannibal Lecter. And when we all learned that Trudeau had spent considerably less time vetting Payette than the rest of us reserve for, say, adopting a mid-pandemic rescue puppy.

Payette mocked people who believed in religion. She’d run down a visually-impaired woman who later died. She’d assaulted her ex-husband and was charged, but not prosecuted. She arguably had the managerial skills of Pol Pot.

Justin Trudeau’s reaction? Hey, let’s make her Canada’s head of state!

In no time at all, sordid truths about Payette started to spill out: the abuse of staff, the humiliations, the reign of terror. And – as my colleague Brian Lilley wrote in this paper – the resulting unsourced leaks about Payette to CBC always seemed to coincide with those days when Trudeau’s WE scandal was reaching a fever pitch. Sheer coincidence, we’re sure.

Trudeau, as is his wont, declined to take any responsibility whatsoever for Payette-gate. He wouldn’t apologize, either.

Instead, he sent out anonymous PMO fart-catchers to hiss to the Globe and Mail that Jean Chretien was to blame. Seriously.

You know, Jean Chretien. He was Prime Minister decades ago. Him, my former boss.

Chretien was somehow to blame for Payette, whispered the faceless and gutless PMO assassins. The Globe dutifully printed it.

Was Jean Chretien perhaps asked if Julie Payette seemed okay? Sure. Trudeau needed a female and francophone for GG, and Payette was both.

But, last time we checked, Jean Chretien didn’t run a headhunting firm. He didn’t peck away at Google, doing the Payette vet.

Because, you know: that’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s job.

Has been since 1931. Since that year, every single one of Canada’s governors-general has been picked by the Prime Minister. The Queen merely rubber-stamps whomever the PM picks.

The dastardly Stephen Harper, who gets blamed by Trudeau for every bird that falls from the sky, set up an expert panel to help select and vet candidates for Governor-General. It was a good idea. Among other things, if something went wrong, Harper could always blame the committee. Smart.

Instead, Trudeau dumped the panel. And now all of the Payette-mess blame has landed unceremoniously at the novelty-socked feet of Justin Trudeau. He’s wearing it, big time.

In a sense, he’s likely grateful. Payette-gate has diverted the nation’s attention away from the fact that we are no longer getting any vaccines, and that people are literally going to die who weren’t supposed to die. Justin Trudeau was likely grateful for the channel-changer, messy as it was.

Still, it would’ve been nice to find a woman to pin the whole thing on.

Blaming women, after all, is the way Justin Trudeau likes it.

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Edited by Jaydee
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 No, Don Cherry can't be governor general. He likes people

He is friendly, even to strangers, and he would treat the role with infinite seriousness, with belief in and respect for Canada and Canadians.

 

Don Cherry is not going to be governor general.

He has too many personal characteristics going against him.

Obviously I need to back such a categorical statement up.

He is old.

He is even more old than I am, and I first breached the wall of being sometime during the Babylonian captivity.

Don was born when they were working up the blueprints for Tutankhamun’s tomb.

And in this modern-day world, we know from many sources, especially Twitter, old is bad.

Indiscriminate liking of people … shows a lack of class

 

He likes people. Well there’s a deal breaker, right there.

This is an obstacle too far. For any elite position in Canadian society, it is only acceptable to like people on your own social plane. Indiscriminate liking of people, regardless of background or rank, shows a lack of class and a lavish sense of pure hospitality.

He is friendly, even to strangers, and — brace yourselves — has even been known to say kind words to waiters, housekeeping staff in hotels, and taxi-drivers. To put it idiomatically, he likes “the help.”

He suffers from a terrible affliction, which would be vigorously out of place in Rideau Hall. He loves Canada. And the people who built Canada.

Were that enough, and in these “woke” times it is more than enough, he also — brace yourself again — loves the Canadian military, every man and woman who wears the uniform, every man and woman who has worn the uniform.

Most people of highest character, especially in journalism, admired Christie Blatchford, who in my view, and I knew her, possessed the “highest character in journalism.”

Christie Blatchford admired and loved Don Cherry.

This may be one of the strongest reasons why Don Cherry will never ascend to the purple cushions. Being one of the very few people the sternly independent Christie Blatchford admired might very well not go over at all in the curious upper echelons of Canadian politics, where the choice of GG is made.

He is a man. Speaks for itself.

He would take the role with infinite seriousness. No one would take the position with more feeling for what it should represent — belief in and respect for Canada and Canadians.

I have listed some of his minor disqualifications. There are more serious ones.

He is incapable of tantrums towards those “lower” than he is. He will tackle equals with the fury of a wolverine, but would never harass or humiliate those in a “serving” category. For all his fame, he does not think he is better than those who do not have “fame.” He has skipped all the books that say because you are a “name” you can be rude and cruel to the “anonymous” person trying his or her best to please you.

He doesn’t like to make “underlings” cry. And he would weep himself, if inadvertently he ever did.

He has a kind heart, loves the country, is not a snob. He performs his charity in private without publicity. He is loyal to his friends.

And, as much as any hockey star, he symbolizes the Canadian game. For something like 30 years Hockey Night in Canada was Don Cherry Night in Canada.

 

rally_-2.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288 Fans of hockey broadcaster Don Cherry rally outside the downtown Toronto office of Rogers Sportsnet, which fired Cherry on Nov. 11, 2019. PHOTO BY JACK BOLAND/POSTMEDIA NEWS

He has never received the Order of Canada — the most famous Canadian who hasn’t.

He hasn’t been to space. (At least that we know of.)

I trust that even this summary, to which many more items could be added, is sufficient to make the case that this is not a person we want in the governor general’s robes.

Please, keep him out of Rideau Hall.

Don Cherry for PM? Maybe. Don Cherry for GG — no go, at all.

He’d just be too damn good for the job.

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/rex-murphy-no-don-cherry-cant-be-governor-general-he-likes-people?fbclid=IwAR1zc36TQcc-hjshdtVp1x9HjNX3jB24EOnBmaE-bZfrSaWqk9vA1qS5UAo

Edited by Jaydee
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  • 1 month later...

COMMENTARY: The search for Canada’s new governor general is not off to a great start

 

© THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld Parliamentary pages prepare the House of Commons,

The rather unprecedented situation surrounding the position of governor general has presented an awkward dilemma for the prime minister.

There’s clearly some urgency in filling the position, but also a need to be deliberate and thoughtful in selecting a replacement, especially given the circumstances that brought about the vacancy in the first place.

Whether Justin Trudeau deserves the opportunity to make this decision yet again after botching it the first time is a moot point. He remains the prime minister, and therefore it is his decision to make.

So far, however, there’s little to instill confidence that this time around is going to be significantly different.

Read more: From a ‘great adventure’ to resignation: The rise and fall of Julie Payette

While Canadians may be feeling somewhat more cynical about the monarchy and its various institutions these days, the governor general still has a very important role to play in our system — especially in a minority government situation.Duration 

The chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada is currently assuming some of those duties, but that’s the sort of situation that we should try and keep to a minimum. Having the chief justice give royal assent to legislation that may one day come before the court presents a somewhat uncomfortable potential conflict.

So, yes, there is undoubtedly some urgency to the situation. Yet here we are, almost two months after Julie Payette resigned as governor general, and the government is only now beginning the process to find her replacement. If it takes two months to figure out how they want to go about making a decision, it does not bode well for the amount of time it’s actually going to take to actually make a decision.

Video: Payette scandal sours Canadians on perks, expenses for former governors general, Ipsos poll shows

After abandoning the independent advisory committee created by former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Liberals have suddenly discovered the wisdom of using such an approach to find a suitable candidate for governor general. Perhaps if the Liberals hadn’t so hastily discarded this approach, we would not be in this current predicament. And while it might seem on the surface that the Liberals have opted for the sober approach over the political approach, that’s not entirely the case.

The difference between this new advisory panel and the old advisory panel is that while the latter was truly arms-length from government, the former is clearly not. The co-chair of the newly announced advisory panel is none other than Dominic LeBlanc, Trudeau’s minister of intergovernmental affairs.

Read more: Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigning amid ‘scathing’ Rideau Hall workplace review

Given the political considerations that seem to have motivated the prime minister’s pick last time around and the political realities of a precarious Parliament and looming election, the last thing this process needs is any infusion of politics. LeBlanc’s inclusion might make the case for involving representatives from the opposition parties, but ideally this advisory committee would be absent of any political representation.

So why include LeBlanc at all? What value does he add to this process that offsets the optics of having a cabinet minister there in the first place? Given the scandal that befell Trudeau’s last selection, this process has become about more than just a replacement — it’s about rebuilding public confidence in the institution itself.

None of this is to conclude at this point that this whole endeavour is doomed to spawn another fiasco. However, the potential is very real that this process will take longer than it should and be more politicized than it should. That would be most unfortunate for both Canadians and the position of governor general itself.

This is a rather inauspicious start to a very important decision.

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Trump said it much better on the Apprentice....You’re FIRED

 

 

THIS IS HOW they word it when they fire a governor general. From an elegantly-worded legal notice Saturday, "You have requested that we be pleased to relieve you." This is gold! 

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