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Firm hired to look into behaviour of Gov.-Gen. Payette

A litany of former staffers have complained about abusive behaviour from Julie Payette with many leaving their jobs and seen in tears after meeting with her.

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The Liberal government has hired an outside consulting company to investigate the actions of Gov.-Gen. Julie Payette, who some staffers alleged has been acting like a drama queen.

A report into Payette’s alleged actions will be completed by fall by Quintet Consulting Corporation and it will then be up to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to decide on her fate.

A litany of former staffers have complained about abusive behaviour from Payette with many leaving their jobs and seen in tears after meeting with her.

“Both current and former employees of the OSGG (Office of the Secretary to the Governor-General) will be invited by the firm to voluntarily and confidentially share their perspectives,” the Privy Council Office said.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc – himself a son of a former Gov.-Gen. – will oversee the review.

The report will not be made public.

CBC has reported Payette has been 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. 

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.

In June 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.

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: 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 says thoughts of Western Alienation are ‘crazy’

The Liberal prime minister made the comment in question period as his Throne Speech was debated.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday that any ideas of Western Alienation are “crazy.'”

The Liberal prime minister made the comment in question period as his Throne Speech was debated.

“The Conservatives want to make this a national unity crisis,” said Trudeau.

“I apologize, but this is simply irresponsible. We have shown, throughout this pandemic that, better than anyone else in the world, Canadians are there for one another,” he said in French.

“Thus, to try and sneak in this approach, this political attack, its simply irresponsible and crazy.”

The federal Tory party has already said they will not support the Throne Speech.

Trudeau’s “crazy” remark drew condemnation from Tory leader Erin O’Toole who tweeted video of the prime minister’s comments.

O’Toole tweet

O’Toole brought up the issue of Western Alienation during his first conversation with Trudeau after he won the Tory leadership.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, along with his Western counterparts, Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe and Manitoba’s Brian Pallister, have been unanimous in saying the Throne Speech will do nothing to help the economies of the west.

Pallister was particularly critical of Trudeau for not increasing health transfers.

“When your foundation is eroding you fix your foundation first, you don’t start redecorating your second floor sitting room,” Pallister said.

Later Thursday, Canada’s premier issued a statement expressing their disappointment the Throne Speech included no increase in health care spending.

” Instead of putting forward a firm commitment to addressing the long-term sustainability of Canada’s public healthcare systems, the federal government signaled investments in new time-limited initiatives; many in areas of provincial and territorial jurisdiction, such as health, early learning and childcare, skills training, and housing,” the premier’s statement read.

They also called for revamping the federal fiscal stabilization program, something Alberta has long advocated.

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

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Notley says Kenney shouldn’t have criticized Trudeau’s Throne Speech

“I was alarmed by the comments we heard from the Premier today,” said NDP leader Rachel Notley

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Alberta NDP leader has launched an attack on Premier Jason Kenney for daring to attack Justin’s Trudeau’s Throne Speech.

“I was alarmed by the comments we heard from the Premier today – this premier is so desperate to distract Albertans from his inability to create jobs and restart economic growth that he is continuing his fake fight with Ottawa at the expense of the best interest of the people he was elected to represent,” said Notley in a statement released on Thursday.

An angry Kenney has slammed the Wednesday Liberal Throne Speech as doing nothing for Alberta, especially the crippled energy industry.

Kenney is talking to other Canadian premiers Thursday afternoon to come up with a joint response to the Throne Speech.

“In addition to losing 50,000 jobs even before the pandemic, and in addition to shrinking Alberta’s economy with his $4.7 billion corporate handout, Jason Kenney made it clear today that he is willing to put his own political interest over the possibility of a long-awaited and long overdue national drug plan,” said the Notley statement.

“This self-serving decision will undermine the quality and affordability of the health care of millions of Albertans. This is an abdication of leadership.

“Albertans deserve a leader who will do the hard work of building a real economic recovery plan, a leader who will do whatever it takes to get Albertans back to work, and a leader who is laser focused on the challenges facing Alberta, not fake fights with federal politicians.”

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

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Kenney’s anger at Throne Speech continues to grow

Kenney called the speech “kooky”, full of “bright shiny objects” and policy ideas that will see Alberta challenging them in the Supreme Court.

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After having a night to sleep on it, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney emerged Thursday no less angry about Justin Trudeau’s Throne Speech.

During a morning press conference, Kenney called the speech “kooky”, full of “bright shiny objects” and policy ideas that will see Alberta challenging them in the Supreme Court.

An angry Kenney said he will be talking to other premier’s later Thursday and they will issue a statement about the speech later Thursday or Friday.

The premier noted not a single word in the speech discussed the crippled oil and gas sectors in Alberta.

Nor was there any mention of the growing concern of Western Alienation.

“All premiers asked the government to focus on two things in the speech – health care and the economy,” Kenney told reporters.

“Instead we got bright shiny objects and kooky objectives.”

Kenney said he hoped the speech would offer something “to allow the energy industry that has been cut off at the knees to get back on their feet.

“Instead we got a litany of policies that would further damage industries that are struggling to survive,” he said.

Kenney also took aim at a Liberal pledge to turn 25 per cent of Canada’s land mass into protected areas.

The premier said such a “sterilizing” move would be “potentially devastating” on Alberta’s mining industry.

Kenney also blasted the speech over it’s clean fuel and other climate change promises and said Alberta “is doing everything humanly possible” to lower carbon emissions.

“If Alberta doesn’t produce these (energy) things they will be produced elsewhere,” he said.

Kenney said governments have to be able to “pivot” during hard times, just like the Stephen Harper government he was a part of did to save the Canadian auto industry.

“The government of Canada had the opportunity to pivot….they failed to pivot,” Kenney said.

Kenney said there were more policies invading provincial jurisdiction “than I could count.”

“It’s a full frontal attack on Canadian federalism,” he said.

“I see Alberta participating in many more constitutional challenges.”

Kenney once again pointed out Alberta has given the rest of the country more than $630 billion since 1960 in transfer payments to help build things like schools and hospitals across Canada.

“A strong Canada needs a strong Alberta,” he said.

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

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