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Trudeau calls Payette 'excellent' governor general, says no plans to replace her

Last Updated Sep 2, 2020 at 9:48 am PDT

Governor General Julie Payette and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau look on during a swearing in ceremony following a cabinet shuffle at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Tuesday, August 18, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada has an "excellent" governor general in Julie Payette and that now is not the time to replace the former astronaut. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada has an “excellent” governor general in Julie Payette and that now is not the time to replace the former astronaut.

The comments during an interview with Red FM radio in Vancouver this morning and are the prime minister’s strongest defence yet of Payette, who has found herself under fire on a number of fronts in recent months.

Those include allegations that employees within Payette’s office have been subject to a toxic work environment and reports of having incurred a variety of additional costs since being named governor general in October 2017.

Trudeau noted the federal government has hired a consulting firm with a history of reviewing allegations of workplace harassment on Parliament Hill to examine the situation at Rideau Hall.

But the prime minister praised Payette when asked whether he planned to ask the Queen to have her replaced and said that is not something the government is contemplating.

Trudeau suggested replacing Payette could lead to a constitutional crisis.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 2, 2020.

The Canadian Press