We all know someone who was gifted at their job, got promoted and became a disaster.
Governor General Julie Payette is widely regarded as a brilliant scientist and a pioneering astronaut, but she has proven time and again to be ill-suited for the role of Canada’s Vice-Regent.
The Governor General plays a vital role in our constitutional monarchy, publicly representing both Her Majesty the Queen and Canada.
Since her appointment in 2017, Julie Payette has not only refused to set aside her own self-interest, her behavior has ranged from diva- ish to disinterested, from domineering to downright bullying.
So, it came as no surprise in recent weeks that government sources are referring to Rideau Hall as a “house of horrors” under Payette.
Nearly a quarter of Rideau Hall’s 176 employees claim to have experienced workplace harassment and bullying since Payette took office.
According to a CBC investigation, these episodes tend to center around Payette’s need to prove she’s smarter than her staff, often giving them pop quizzes on outer space, then belittling them for not knowing the answer.
According to sources, Payette is constantly “exploding”, berating her staffers for their work, sometimes for hours at a time.
According to another source, tears are a daily occurrence in Rideau Hall.
“There was a victim in every meeting…It’s bullying and harassment at its worst.”
Payette was an odd choice for Governor General from the beginning.
She was charged with assault in 2011 and her tenure as head of the Montreal Science Centre was characterized by conflict and staff resignations. The latter should have been a huge red flag for Justin Trudeau as he considered her for the role of de-facto Head of State.
Since her appointment, Payette’s erratic, often egomaniacal, behavior and poor work ethic have become well known in Ottawa.
She is known to throw “tantrums” when her constitutional duties interfere with her desired schedule.
She has demanded $250,000 of unprecedented privacy upgrades to Rideau Hall, yet three years into her tenure she has yet to move into the official residence.
She has snubbed charities and those due to receive honours, choosing to mail medals rather than present them.
She has lashed out at people of faith, publicly ridiculing those who believe in creation, insulting everyone from Christians to Indigenous Canadians—including Her Majesty the Queen who is Head of the Church of England.
This unfortunate situation is yet another example of Justin Trudeau’s lack of judgment. Another in a long line of bad decisions based on shared ideology rather than qualification.
These new allegations, that Payette has created a toxic climate of harassment and abuse at Rideau Hall, have caused many to wonder if, perhaps, it’s time for the experiment to end.