Costs are in addition to the $393,367 paid to consultants to investigate complaints of harassment at Rideau Hall
Author of the article:
Feb 16, 2021 • 1 day ago • 2 minute read
Then Governor General Julie Payette prepares to deliver the Throne Speech in the Senate, as Parliament prepares to resume in Ottawa, Sept. 23, 2020. Photo by Blair Gable /REUTERS FILE PHOTOS
Julie Payette’s ongoing legal expenses have nearly reached $250,000, after she resigned as governor general following complaints of workplace harassment, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.
Account records show a total of $249,627 was paid by the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General to two law firms, Caza Saikaley LLP of Ottawa and Blake, Cassels & Graydon of Toronto, the media outlet reports. These costs are in addition to the $393,367 paid to consultants to investigate complaints of harassment at Rideau Hall.
Payette resigned on Jan. 21.
According to a redacted Final Review Report commissioned by the Privy Council and released to the public by Ottawa’s Quintet Consulting Corp., participants described the the work environment as “hostile or negative or used other words to that effect.”
Story continues below
This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
In the report, 26 people used the words “toxic” or “poisoned” to describe the work culture. Eight people used the expressions “climate or region of fear or terror,” while a dozen people said they were “walking on eggshells” working at Rideau Hall, wrote investigators.
“Reports included allegations of yelling, screaming, aggressive conduct, demeaning comments and public humiliation,” said the report, however, no examples were provided.
There were 17 employees who quit because of the work environment, the report states, while 13 others took paid sick leave.
“Tensions have arisen at Rideau Hall over the past few months and for that I am sorry,” Payette wrote in a farewell statement the same day she resigned.
“For the good of the country and our democratic institutions, I have come to the conclusion that a new governor general should be appointed. Canadians deserve stability in these uncertain times.”
Payette was paid $289,00 a year with a $34.9-million office budget, free use of two manor homes in Ottawa and Quebec City, a chauffeured car and a Challenger jet, according to Blacklock’s Reporter. She remains entitled to a $143,000-a-year pension, and $206,040 in annual office expenses for life. Payette’s secretary, Assunta di Lorenzo, whose salary was $226,000 a year, also resigned.
Payette served three years and three months of her five-year term in that role, the shortest tenure of any governor general since 1972, when colonial appointee Lord Lisgar resigned due to poor health, said Blacklock’s Reporter.