Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held a meeting with Queen Elizabeth today on the process of selecting the next Governor General of Canada, months after Julie Payette stepped down.
Payette resigned after a report found she ran a toxic work environment at Rideau Hall that dozens described as hostile or negative.
UK High Commissioner for Canada Ralph Goodale told reporters at the UK G7 summit that Trudeau spoke to the Queen during a virtual audience today about the “urgency” of appointing a new Governor General.
“The Prime Minister wanted to have a conversation with Her Majesty to keep her updated on the exact state of the process and to seek her advice as he moves into the final stages of this decision-making,” Goodale said today.
Canada has been in Canada since January 21 without a representative from the Queen. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Richard Wagner, has stepped in on top of his other work.
Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc told MPs yesterday that Trudeau would receive a shortlist of candidates in the “next few days”.
“I think we’ve come to an interesting list,” LeBlanc told the House of Commons Committee on Procedures and Affairs on Thursday. “The Prime Minister hadn’t made a decision yet. But I think that should come in the not too distant future.”
Payette and her deputy, Assunta Di Lorenzo, resigned after an outside report describing episodes of “yelling, yelling, aggressive behavior, degrading comments and public humiliation” at Rideau Hall.
The third-party review was sparked by a CBC News story quoting a dozen confidential sources claiming Payette and Di Lorenzo mistreated employees. Payette has asserted from the start that she takes workplace harassment very seriously and that everyone has the right to a healthy and safe work environment.
Trudeau has been accused of failing to thoroughly screen Payette for the viceroy role prior to taking office in 2017. CBC News reported that Payette’s two previous workplaces had no controls that could have raised red flags.
Conservative MP John Nater asked LeBlanc to assure the House of Commons that the Prime Minister would not move to dissolve Parliament without a vote of no confidence.
LeBlanc did not offer this assurance. He hoped that a new governor-general would be appointed within a few weeks.