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More drama for the Gov.-Gen: Reports of expensive jet flights and hiding from RCMP security

The RCMP has also had to apologize for her behaviour to foreign security abroad because Payette treated them so poorly

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More stories are emerging of diva-like actions by the Queen’s representative in Canada, Gov.-Gen. Julie Payette.

Payette is using a government Challenger, which takes a couple hours of pre-takeoff prep time and almost $5,000 an hour, for pick-ups and drop-offs at Mirabel en route to her Laurentian Mountain cottage, reported CTV’s Don Martin.

To reach the terminal via her chauffeur-driven car would take less than 90 minutes.

Flight data for 2019 shows Payette made seven pit stops in Mirabel aboard the jet and this has continued in 2020 as she work at her cottage in pandemic isolation,  reported Martin.

Payette even took on a flight on May 6 from Brockville, located a 90-minute drive south of Ottawa, directly to Mirabel before the plane returned to Ottawa.

CBC reported Monday Payette has been also causing headaches for the RCMP security details by slipping away on foreign trips.

Payette’s secrecy and resistance to working with the RCMP routinely sends her protective detail scrambling to fulfil last-minute requests and drives up spending on overtime, hotel and plane tickets, multiple sources told CBC News. 

 The force has also had to apologize for her behaviour to foreign security abroad because she treated them so poorly, said sources. 

CBC reported RCMP confirmed there was more than a $1 million increase in spending to protect the Governor General in 2019-20 compared the previous fiscal year, when it cost $6.3 million. 

Her tendency to try and elude her protecters forced the Mounties to monitor Payette using GPS technology when she demands space, said an RCMP source to the CBC.

CBC reported a litany of problems including:

  • RCMP paying double or triple the price for flights abroad because Payette hadn’t decided if she was going on personal or work trips until the last minute. Some international flights have cost up to $12,000. 
  • Hotel rooms with a $400 price tag sitting empty near the Citadelle — her second official residence in Quebec City — because Payette suddenly decided she wanted to go to her cottage north of Montreal, but it was too late to cancel the original booking.
  • The cost of an additional officer — ranging from an estimated $4,000 to $15,000 per week — on international trips to guard Payette’s door because of her repeated attempts to slip away from her protective detail. 

Payette’s press secretary said cost-saving measures “are at the heart of all decisions made by our office.”

“The last two years have been particularly busy when it comes to representing Canada both at home and abroad, especially in regards to various commemorations linked to the First and Second World Wars,” said Ashlee Smith in a statement.  

Earlier is was reported Pyette had spent $141,000 to plan for a private staircase that was never built.

But Pyette’s spokeswoman says Canadians don’t have to right to ask about her living arrangements.

It was part of hundreds of thousands of dollars Pyette demanded in privacy upgrades before she would move into Rideau Hall – but she still hasn’t moved into her official residence almost three years into her five-year mandate. 

More than $117,500 was also spent on a gate and series of doors to keep people away from Payette’s office, according to the National Capital Commission (NCC), which manages the official vice-regal residence.

While a large chunk of the grounds of Rideau Hall are open to the public, Payette “wanted to come and go without anyone seeing her,” one source with knowledge of the project told the CBC.

Multiple sources told CBC, Payette doesn’t like maintenance workers in her line of sight and even RCMP protection officers aren’t allowed to stand directly outside her office door and must hide in a room down the hallway.

Just last month there were claims the Queen’s representative in Canada had seen a mass exodus of staff while reducing others to tears after dressing-downs.

“Four members of Payette’s communications team have departed during the pandemic period alone. A fifth person is leaving this week and another two have taken leaves of absence. It’s just the latest wave of staff to quietly transfer out of the small office in response to mistreatment during Payette’s mandate”, multiple sources told the CBC.

“This has gone from being one of the most collegial and enjoyable work environments for many of the staff to being a house of horrors – it’s bullying and harassment at its worst,” one source told CBC.

Multiple sources told CBC Payette routinely complained of being tired, underfed and overworked.

But Rideau Hall said Payette and “the management of the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General ‘strongly believe’ in the importance of a healthy workplace.”

“We deeply regret this reporting, which is in stark contrast to the reality of working at the OSGG, and obscures the important work done by our dedicated staff in honouring, representing, and showcasing Canadians,” said Ashlee Smith, press secretary to the Governor General, in a statement to CBC.

Payette, a former astronaut, was appointed Governor General on the advice of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in October 2017. Her term runs until 2022.

At the beginning of her mandate, CBC reported, Payette put staff on the spot by quizzing them about outer space — asking them to name all the planets in the solar system, for example, or to state the distance between the sun and the moon.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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Trudeau: Second wave is here but ‘we have a shot at Christmas’

When the lockdown began in Canada on March 13, there were 47 cases of COVID announced that day. On Tuesday, there were more than 1,000 new cases.

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The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is already sweeping the country, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a nationally-televised address Wednesday night.

“We won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving but we still have a shot at Christmas,” Trudeau said in a speech that copied huge chunks out of his Throne Speech from earlier in the day.

Trudeau noted when the lockdown began in Canada on March 13, there were 47 cases of COVID announced that day. On Tuesday, there were more than 1,000 new cases.

More than 9,000 Canadians have been killed by the coronavirus.

“This is the fight of our generation,” said Trudeau.

“The fall could be worse than the spring.”

Trudeau urged Canadians to get their flu shots and follow health advice on gatherings and social distancing.

“This is not the time for parties – we can not let our guard down now,” he said.

“It is up to us to build the world of tomorrow.”

Trudeau urged Canadians to take care of elderly people during the pandemic.

And despite the pledge not to make the broadcast political, Trudeau launched into a litany of things the Liberals have introduced during the pandemic and his Throne Speech promises to set up a national day care program.

Trudeau called front line workers during the pandemic “heroes.”

“The are many days to go before we get to the other side of this… we are Canadians and there is nothing we can’t do,” said Trudeau.

Sen. Frum tweet

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Opposition parties blast Throne Speech – Tories say they will vote against it

We’ve looked at this Speech from the Throne and Conservatives cannot support it,” said Candice Bergen

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The Tories say they won’t support the Justin Trudeau Speech from the Throne.

And other opposition figures all said they were less than impressed with the 54-minute speech that was a laundry list of promises that will cost untold billions.

If enough opposition members amongst the Tories, Bloc, NDP and Greens don’t vote in favour of the speech, the government will fall and an election called.

Tory deputy leader Candice Bergen said her party won’t support the speech.

“We’ve looked at this Speech from the Throne and Conservatives cannot support it,” she said.

“It doesn’t speak at all of national unity, it doesn’t speak of our energy sector and our workers in Alberta and Saskatchewan and Manitoba. It doesn’t talk about agriculture.”

The speech left Alberta Premier Jason Kenney fuming.

“Alberta is disappointed that instead of listening to Canada’s provinces, the federal government doubled down on policies that will kill jobs, make Canada poorer and weaken national unity,” Kenney said in a statement.

“Last week, I was joined by Premiers Ford, Legault and Pallister in Ottawa to speak on behalf of Canada’s provinces. We made it clear that the provinces are united in their priorities: healthcare and the economy. The speech we heard today was anything but.

“I want to be clear: it’s not just Alberta’s energy sector that needs Canada right now. For a real recovery, Canada needs Alberta’s energy. Albertans have made a net contribution of more than $600 billion through transfers to the rest of Canada to build roads, schools, hospitals and the critical infrastructure Canadians need, in large part due to Alberta’s energy industry. And even conservative estimates from experts and economists show the global demand for oil increasing over the next 20 years.”

Michael Cooper, Tory MP for St. Albert-Edmonton said the speech lacked help for the West.

“Throne Speech has 6783 words & not one mention of “pipelines”, “oil” or “gas” or any plan to speed up billions of job-creating energy projects awaiting federal approval. Justin Trudeau’s vision leaves Alberta behind,” he tweeted.

Tory finance critic Pierre Poilievre was also unimpressed.

“The truest statement in the Throne Speech was this one: “We owe an immense debt…” he tweeted.

The NDP also expressed their displeasure.

“Today, the government’s throne speech was full of promises we’ve heard before A throne speech is just words on paper & this PM has shown us that his actions don’t match his empty words It doesn’t need to be this way,” tweeted leader Jagmeet Singh.

Tory leader Erin O’Toole and Bloc leader Yves-François Blanchet both missed the speech because they are suffering from coronavirus.

“Disappointing speech from the throne for Quebec. Does not respect the jurisdiction of the provinces in health. I will discuss it tomorrow with the premiers of the other provinces,” tweeted Quebec Premier Francois Legault.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister reaction

People’s Party of Canada head Maxime Bernier tweeted: “My predictions for today’s Throne speech: More programs we can’t afford More massive deficit spending More intrusions into provincial jurisdictions More pandering to special interests More COVID-19 and climate alarmism to justify it all”

In a strange reaction, former Green Party leader Elizabeth May said they could still hold the balance of power.

Scott moe tweet

“If a whole bunch of MPs on their way to parliament fell down and something heavy landed on them at that point we could be absolutely critical to the survival this of this government,” she told reporters.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation expressed deep concern about the agenda proposed by the Trudeau government.

May statement

“The deficit is closing in on $400 billion and there was zero mention of any plan to hit the brakes on spending,” said CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick.

“We can’t carry on like this for much longer, and yet the Trudeau government seems to meet this deteriorating fiscal situation with a shrug.”

The federal debt is on track to reach $1 trillion before the end of the year, with more debt incurred in this fiscal year than in the previous 22 years.

…more to come

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Liberals shopping-list of promises outlined in Throne Speech

The speech, written by the Liberal government, said they will focus on four main elements in the coming Parliament.

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Calling it “an ambitious plan for unprecedented times,” Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government put forward its agenda for the future during a Speech from the Throne Thursday.

It include promises to create 1 million jobs, an action plan for women, daycare investments, support for workers and businesses hit by COVID-19 and a plan for climate change.

Taxing the rich and a handgun grab were also promised in a speech that barely touched on the West and didn’t mention pipelines at all.

The 54-minute speech was a huge promise list of spending that will end up costing tens or hundreds of billions of dollars.

The speech said the Liberals will focus on four main elements in the coming Parliament.

The first element will be to fight the pandemic, the speech said, noting 9,000 Canadians have died from COVID-19.

The Liberals vowed to help any businesses shut down by new health orders during the country’s reopening.

The second element will be to “support people and businesses…for as long as it take.”

The Liberals vowed to create more than 1 million new jobs with direct spending, more training programs and incentives for businesses to hire.

The speech said the government will replace the current CERB program with the Canada Recovery benefit.

The Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy program until the summer of 2021,

“Canadians shouldn’t have to take on debt the government is better able to shoulder.”

The third pillar will be to “build back a stronger and more resilient Canada.”

The speech noted the pandemic has been especially hard on women leaving moms “with the impossible choice between kids and career.”

The Liberals announced a “significant and long-term investment” into child care across the country. The programs will also include after school care. It also announced further strategies for female entrepreneurs.

Climate change will be a “cornerstone” of Liberal policy.

The speech said the Liberals plan to exceed 2030 carbon emission targets and make plans for a net-zero economy by 2050 a law.

It said it will continue with its carbon taxing while coming up with a plan to retro-fit Canadian homes with new environmental technology. It vowed more transit options across the country along with cheaper electric cars.

A new federal fund will also be launched to attract investment in carbon reduction businesses.

The Liberals vowed to support the energy industry, foresters and rancher in their efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

“It can’t be free to pollute,” the speech read.

The Liberals also vowed to revive the Canada Water Agency and work on the economy of fishers and coastal communities.

The speech said Liberals will focus on helping the middle class and taxing “extreme wealth” along with closing tax loopholes.

The Liberals also vowed to go after digital giants like Google and Netflix to make sure they pay their fare share.

“This must change and will change,” the speech said.

Noting residents of long term-care homes were hard hit by the pandemic, the speech announced there would be changes to the Criminal Code to penalize negligent owners.

Along with the provinces help, new national standards for old age homes will be brought in.

The government vowed to move quicker with a national Phramacare program.

It repeated Liberal vows to ban handguns in cities and will take steps to address violence against women. New battered womens’ shelters will also be funded.

The government also vowed to work quicker on the issue of systemic racism in the country and move forward with reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

It will include plans to combat online hate groups and vowed to make sure the justice system doesn’t discriminate against minorities.

The government also committed to more oversight for the RCMP.

More money was also promised for overseas countries to develop and defeat the pandemic.

Strengthening the Official Languages Act, increasing immigration and working to free two Canadians detained by China are also on the governments to-do list.

Finally, the speech said the Liberals will focus on “standing up for who we are as Canadians.”

The speech was read by embattled Gov.-Gen Julie Payette, who is under investigation for workplace harassment.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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