Prime Minister Justin Trudeau consulted with Queen Elizabeth today about the process for selecting the next governor general of Canada, months after Julie Payette’s resignation.
Ms. Payette resigned after a report found she had presided over a toxic work environment at Rideau Hall that dozens described as hostile or negative.
High Commissioner for Canada in the United Kingdom Ralph Goodale told reporters at the G7 summit in the U.K. that Trudeau spoke to the Queen during a virtual audience today about the “urgency” of appointing a new governor general.
“The prime minister wanted to have a conversation with Her Majesty to bring her up to date on exactly where the process stands, and get her advice as he moves into the final stages of that decision making,” Goodale said today.
Canada has been without a Queen’s representative in Canada since Jan. 21. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Richard Wagner has been filling in on top of his other work.
Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc told MPs yesterday that Trudeau would be receiving a shortlist of candidates in the “next few days.”
“I think we’ve arrived at an interesting list,” Minister LeBlanc told the House of Commons’ procedure and House affairs committee on Thursday. “The prime minister had not made a decision yet. But I think that should be coming in the not so distant future.”
Ms. Payette and her second-in-command, Assunta Di Lorenzo, stepped down in the wake of an outside report that described episodes of “yelling, screaming, aggressive conduct, demeaning comments and public humiliations” at Rideau Hall.
The third-party review was triggered by a CBC News story quoting a dozen confidential sources who claimed Ms. Payette and Ms. Di Lorenzo mistreated staff. Ms. Payette has maintained from the beginning that she takes issues of workplace harassment very seriously and that everyone has the right to a healthy and safe work environment.
Prime Minister Trudeau has been accused of failing to thoroughly vet Ms. Payette for the vice-regal role before she took office in 2017. CBC News reported that checks that might have raised red flags were not conducted with Ms. Payette’s two previous workplaces.
Conservative MP John Nater asked LeBlanc to assure the Commons that the prime minister would not ask to dissolve Parliament without a vote of non-confidence.
Minister LeBlanc did not offer that assurance. He said he’s hoping a new governor general will be appointed within weeks.
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