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Governor General Julie Payette welcomes review into harassment claims

Last Updated Jul 24, 2020 at 1:43 pm PDT

Governor General Julie Payette delivers remarks during a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Statistics Canada at its headquarters in Ottawa on Friday, March 16, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Summary

Governor General Julie Payette says she is in 'full agreement', 'welcomes' independent review into claims of harassment

Stunning allegations brought to CBC by anonymous sources claim Payette yells at, belittles, humiliates staff

Privy Council Office says 'Harassment has no place in any professional workplace'

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Reports of rampant verbal abuse and worker harassment inside Rideau Hall have now prompted a formal probe into Governor General Julie Payette.

In a statement issued Thursday, Payette says she welcomes this independent review and even requested it herself.

“I am deeply concerned with the media reports regarding the Office of the Governor General and I am completely committed to ensuring that every employee who works at Rideau Hall enjoys a secure and healthy work environment at all times and under all circumstances,” the statement reads. “I take harassment and workplace issues very seriously and I am in full agreement and welcome an independent review.”

Sources told CBC News that Payette yells at, belittles, and publicly humiliates her employees, to the point that some were brought to tears and some even left their jobs.

Earlier in the day, the Privy Council Office — which is the top bureaucratic office in government — announced it was launching an independent review of the stunning allegations brought to CBC News by a dozen anonymous sources.

“Harassment has no place in any professional workplace,” the PCO’s statement reads. “It is a public service priority to advance efforts to more effectively prevent and resolve issues of harassment.”

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh had called for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau himself to get involved. The Privy Council Office is effectively a partner agency to the Prime Minister’s Office, only it’s non-partisan.

A statement from her office when these allegations first came out denied them, saying they had no basis in reality.

Trudeau has not publicly addressed these claims, though he has said every Canadian has the right to a harassment-free workspace.