Trudeau praises Payette again, says he's waiting on external review of Gov. Gen.'s office

Posted In: News Date:Sep 10th, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised Gov. Gen. Julie Payette again today for her past work as a scientist and astronaut and said he's still awaiting the results of an external review into "serious allegations" of workplace harassment at Rideau Hall.

Trudeau was asked Tuesday about his previous remarks calling Payette "excellent" and saying he has no intention "right now" to ask the Queen to replace her. Those remarks last week upset whistleblowers who reported a toxic workplace culture and verbal abuse at Rideau Hall driven by Payette and her second-in-command.

Trudeau did not repeat his suggestion today that Payette is an "excellent" Governor General. Payette is expected to read the speech from the throne on Sept. 23. Trudeau said today he has no interest in an election this fall.

"The Governor General has a long and successful role as a scientist, as an astronaut," he told a Toronto press conference. "We have engaged a third party reviewer to follow up on these serious allegations and we will wait for the reviewer to do their work."

One former Rideau Hall employee who reported harassment called Trudeau's comments last week a "kick in the stomach" and said the prime minister "doesn't realize there are people behind those allegations who have suffered."