April 27, 2021
It’s not every day the House of Commons comes together on a motion by the Bloc Québécois – but it appears a healthy disdain of former Gov.-Gen. Julie Payette goes across party borders.
MPs from all parties cited public outrage over Payette’s pension for life in debate on Monday, said Blacklock’s Reporter.
“Ms. Payette established a reign of terror,” said Bloc MP Simon Marcil (Mirabel, Que.).
“She was some boss.”
Bill C-271 would repeal lifetime pensions for Rideau Hall appointees retroactive to last February 1, and lower appointees’ pay to a dollar a year.
“A dollar to live in a castle, to eat like a king, sit on a throne and travel at public expense like a princess, it seems to me that is enough,” said Marcil.
MPs in second reading debate said constituents were angry over Payette’s pension.
“Canadians are rightly outraged,” said Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu (Sarnia-Lambton, Ont.).
“Constituents certainly raised it with me.”
“I come from a long line of Scottish anti-monarchists,” said New Democrat MP Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay, Ont.).
“Things went terribly wrong with Madam Payette. The issues of the toxic work environment and the harassment and the incredible amount of financial funding she’s going to receive from the taxpayers for the rest of her life is a legitimate discussion.”
Payette abruptly resigned January 21 prior to cabinet’s release of a redacted report that cited her for “yelling, screaming, aggressive conduct, demeaning comments and public humiliation” of employees at Rideau Hall.
A total of 17 employees quit over bullying, according to the $369,367 human resources investigation.
“Participants described the general work environment as hostile or negative,” said the report by Quintet Consulting Corp., of Ottawa.
Conservative Senator Claude Carignan (Que.) on March 30 introduced a separate bill — S-232 — in the Senate to strip Payette of her pension and expense claims after he called the payments “preposterous.”
“Under the current Governor General’s Act an individual could occupy the position for three years, two years, two weeks even, and they would be automatically entitled to these financial benefits,” said Carignan.
“It makes no sense. It’s a slap in the face of all taxpayers who are working hard to make a living and feed their family.”