Canadian Governor-General, Julie Payette Resigns After Being Accused Of Workplace Harassment

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Image Credit – Global News


Recently Rideau Hall confirmed that a formal complaint was filed with the office of the governor-general as a review into allegations of workplace harassment against the former Governor General Julie Payette was underway.

This statement directly contradicts Payette’s claim that says that no formal complaints were filed during her tenure as the governor-general. Payette resigned from her role as the governor-general on January 21, following her reports about the scathing findings being contained in a review into allegations of workplace harassment levied against her.

She announced her resignation in the statement by claiming that no formal complaints or official grievances were made during her tenure.

She added that such a complaint would have immediately triggered a detailed investigation as being prescribed by the law and the collective agreements in place. And, added that she shall take all these allegations very seriously.

However, on Wednesday, the office of the secretary to the governor-general contradicted this to Global News stating that formal complaint had in-fact been lodged.

Rob McKinnon, a spokesperson for the office said in an email statement that the Office of the Secretary to the Governor-General has received one formal complaint as a result of the Quintet workplace review.

In a subsequent phone call, McKinnon further clarified that this complaint was being filed currently with the probe into allegations of workplace harassment being levied against Payette, which further means that it was filed while she was still serving as the governor-general.

In a statement, McKinnon noted that a review is conducted whenever such a complaint is received and the office shall subsequently take appropriate action as per the Directive on the Prevention and Resolution of Workplace Harassment and Violence.

McKinnon added that the details of the harassment complaints are strictly confidential and contain personal information, and therefore the Office of the Secretary to the Governor-General shall not provide any information on the specific complaint.

Moreover, the Privy Council Office had hired Quintet Consulting Corp., in the fall to conduct a review into allegations of workplace harassment that had been reportedly published in a CBC News article in the summer of 2020.

In the resulting report, several staff members have alleged yelling, aggressive conduct, screaming, demeaning comments, and public humiliations that had occurred at Rideau Hall.

Payette had said that she had encouraged the employees to participate in the review.

Reacting to the conclusion of the report published on January 21, she wrote in the statement that not only did she welcome a review of the work climate at the OSGG, but had also repeatedly encouraged the employees to participate in the review in large numbers. She added that all of them experience things differently, but one should always strive to do better, and be attentive to one another’s perceptions.

After the announcement, she resigned as the governor-general.

Reportedly, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that Chief Justice of Canada Richard Wagner will thereby fulfill the governor general’s duties as a suitable replacement is determined.