The long list of charges against Payette includes irritability and staff cuts to tears.
“Tensions have risen in Rideau Hall over the last few months, and I’m sorry about that,” Payet said in a statement Thursday night. “I have come to the conclusion that a new governor-general should be appointed. Canadians deserve stability in these uncertain times. “
The role of the Governor-General: Although apolitical and largely ceremonial, the Governor-General’s Office is the oldest continuous institution in Canada. GG, as the incumbent is often known, serves as the Canadian representative of the British monarchy ̵
Payette was the first governor-general to leave modern Canadian history, and her departure came when Trudeau Liberals held on to minority status in parliament.
Payet was appointed to Trudeau’s first term. She faced a number of controversies from the moment she took on the role – and, as it turned out, in roles she had played before. The appointment is seen as a clear failure in the process of scrutiny of the Trudeau government.
What happened: Earlier on Thursday, news emerged that investigating third parties had prepared a “scathing” report – priced at nearly $ 90,000 – on allegations of a toxic work environment maintained by Payette and her secretary, Assunta Di Lorenzo. Some findings from this confidential report are expected to be published this week, according to Globe and Mail.
The unprecedented probe was launched by the federal government after dozens of former and current employees told the press that Payet had “belittled” and “shouted” at employees. Payet is said to throw “tantrums” while traveling abroad and publicly humiliate employees to tears.
A source also told CBC News that Rideau Hall has moved from one of the most enjoyable jobs in the federal government to a “house of horrors.”
Payette, who was the first Canadian to serve on the International Space Station, was appointed in 2017 by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Even in the course of the investigation, he defended Payette, saying in September that she was “excellent” at her job and that he had no intention of asking her to resign.
In his resignation, Payet apologized and said he would use his departure to spend time with his father, who was in poor health.
“We all experience things differently, but we should always strive to do better and be careful about each other,” she said.
Current list of contradictions: Days after Payet was elected governor-general, she was revealed to have been accused of a second-degree assault in 2011 while living in Maryland. The accusation, which Payet said was “unfounded”, was later dropped. It was then revealed that Payet was involved in a fatal car accident involving a pedestrian that same year, although the case was closed without charge after a police investigation.
Trudeau defended the election of Payette, however, saying at the time: “There are no problems that have arisen in the course of this verification process that would cause us to expect Ms. Payette to be something different from the extraordinary governor-general as he will be. ”
Payet has faced more criticism for postponing his move to the governor-general’s official residence after two years of ongoing renovations to address privacy concerns worth more than $ 250,000.
And last year, CBC News reported that Trudeau’s office failed to consult with former Payette employees during the vetting process. As it turned out, Payet resigned from the Science Center in Montreal in 2016 after complaints of ill-treatment of employees, the newspaper reported. She also left the Canadian Olympic Committee in 2017, the year she became governor-general, after two internal investigations into allegations that she verbally harassed officials.
Trudeau’s answer: Trudeau issued a brief statement Thursday night saying Payette’s resignation provided “an opportunity for new management at Rideau Hall to address workplace issues raised by employees during the review.”
“Every employee in the Government of Canada has the right to work in a safe and healthy environment and we will always take this very seriously,” he said.
Next steps: Chief Justice Richard Wagner of the Supreme Court of Canada has so far intervened in Payet’s place. Trudeau’s cabinet said a recommendation for a permanent replacement would be made to Queen Elizabeth “in time.”