(The Canadian Press)

Trudeau must look into complaints about Governor General, Singh says

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calling on feds to look into accusations

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has an obligation to look into allegations that Gov. Gen. Julie Payette mistreated staff members, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says.

Workplaces need to be safe, and employees must feel they are heard when they raise concerns, said Singh.

“I’m not being prescriptive about what the prime minister must do exactly. But there is no question there is an obligation, a responsibility of the prime minister in this case, with the Governor General and the complaints that we’ve seen, to do something, to follow up with those complaints,” he said Wednesday in Ottawa.

Singh was responding to questions about a CBC News report that quoted anonymous sources as saying Payette has created a toxic environment at Rideau Hall.

The CBC reported Tuesday that Payette had yelled at, belittled and publicly humiliated employees, reducing some to tears or prompting them to quit.

“People should be able to feel safe to come forward. I think that’s always a struggle for people,” said Singh.

“There needs to be some manner for someone independently to assess the complaints.”

Singh pressed Trudeau on the matter in the House of Commons but the prime minister did not specifically address it.

“Every Canadian has the right to a safe, secure workspace, free from harassment and that is extremely important,” Trudeau said.

“That’s why we moved forward on June 22 with announcements on strengthening the oversight in federally regulated agencies and environments, including the public service.”

Earlier Wednesday, Trudeau did not take questions as he entered the Commons.

The Prime Minister’s Office declined Tuesday to answer questions about the report but said every Canadian has the right to work in a healthy, respectful and safe environment.

In a statement Tuesday, the Governor General’s press secretary said Rideau Hall strongly believes in the importance of a healthy workplace, adding the CBC story stands in stark contrast to the reality of working at the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General.

“We deeply regret this reporting, which is in stark contrast to the reality of working at the OSGG, and obscures the important work done by our dedicated staff in honouring, representing, and showcasing Canadians,” said the Rideau Hall statement.

Rideau Hall said it has “stringent internal processes for our employees to voice concerns” through its human resources department, an independent ombudsman, and its “excellent relationships” with the unions that represent employees.

“Since the beginning of the mandate, no formal complaint regarding harassment has been made through any of these channels,” the statement said.

Rideau Hall said it has a lower turnover compared with other departments, and that one of the benefits of being in the public service is the ability to move to different departments to get new career experience.

The statement said that is “something that is personally encouraged by the Governor General, who believes that career growth and opportunity are vitally important.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

federal governmentJustin Trudeau

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

“We have to make a call out to address this now so our people don’t have to feel fearful,” said Tribal Chief Mina Holmes. (Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Facebook photo)
Carrier Sekani Tribal Council seeks Indigenous-led task force in northern B.C. hospitals

Request made in an open letter to federal minister Carolyn Bennett

Ellis Ross (left), BC Liberal party, celebrated with his wife, Tracey after being named the preliminary winner of the 2020 snap provincial election.
Ross presumptive Skeena winner in snap B.C. election

Election outcome will not be official until mail-in ballots are counted

Voting has officially closed throughout B.C. for the 2020 snap provincial election. (Clare Rayment)
Map of Skeena polling stations

Watch the updates on the map below as polling stations are counted throughout Skeena riding

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

Tyrell Giroux was arrested by Williams Lake RCMP on Sunday, Oct. 25. (Facebook video screenshot)
Tsilhqot’in leaders call for suspension of officers seen in controversial Williams Lake arrest

Disturbing video demands an immediate, independent investigation, says TNG

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada/USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
U.S. election results one factor that could impact immigration to Canada next year

The survey polled 1,523 Canadians between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25

Most Read