Canada’s governor general resigns amid allegations of workplace harassment

Julie Payette. Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia/Julie Payette

Jan. 22 (UPI) — Canadian Governor General Julie Payette resigned on Thursday amid allegations of creating a toxic work environment and harassing her staff.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed he had received and accepted the resignation of Payette, who has acted as the Queen’s representative in Canada since 2017.

“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,” Trudeau said in a statement. “Today’s announcement provides an opportunity for new leadership at Rideau Hall to address the workplace concerns raised by employees during the review.”

Payette’s resignation was submitted following the completion of an independent review by the Ottawa-based Privy Council Office that was launched on July 23 after the CBC reported unnamed sources within Payette’s office said the former astronaut yelled at, belittled and humiliated her employees.

The contents of the independent review were not immediately known as it has not been publicly released.

“Tensions have arisen at Rideau Hall over the past few months and for that, I am sorry,” Payette said in a statement on Thursday. “For the integrity of my vice-regal office and for the good of our country and of our democratic institutions, I have come to the conclusion that a new Governor General should be appointed. Canadians deserve stability in these uncertain times.”

Following the announcement of the review, Payette said she was “deeply concerned” about the media reports and was committed to creating a healthy working environment.

“I take workplace harassment issues very seriously and I welcome an independent review,” she said in a statement on July 24.

Payette, 57, who worked an astronaut from 1992 to 2013 and flew two missions into space, was appointed to the largely ceremonial position on Oct. 2, 2017.


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