In a detailed statement, Payette said that she took the allegations seriously — although she did not formally apologize or admit to any misconduct in the workplace.
“While no formal complaints or official grievances were made during my tenure, which would have immediately triggered a detailed investigation as prescribed by law and the collective agreements in place, I still take these allegations very seriously,” Payette said in the statement.
As first reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) last year, current and former government employees accused Payette of creating a toxic workplace, harassing and bullying employees and reducing some employees to tears.
In response, the Trudeau government hired an independent consulting company to investigate the allegations. The report was completed and submitted to the government earlier this week and that prompted Payette’s resignation.
“I am a strong believer in the principles of natural justice, due process and the rule of law, and that these principles apply to all equally,” Payette wrote. “Notwithstanding, in respect for the integrity of my vice-regal Office and for the good of our country and of our democratic institutions, I have come to the conclusion that a new Governor General should be appointed. Canadians deserve stability in these uncertain times.”
TWO OF A TRIBE
Payette said in her statement of resignation that, “Everyone has a right to a healthy and safe work environment, at all times and under all circumstances. It appears this was not always the case at the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General. Tensions have arisen at Rideau Hall over the past few months and for that, I am sorry.”
However, later in the statement she added, “We all experience things differently, but we should always strive to do better, and be attentive to one another’s perceptions.”
That appeared to echo similar language used by Trudeau. In 2018, CNN reported that in response to allegations that he had inappropriately groped a woman in 2000, Trudeau said during a press briefing that, “I do not feel that I acted inappropriately in any way but I respect the fact that someone else might have experienced that differently.”