Queen’s representative in Canada quits after report into harassment: media

FILE PHOTO: Throne speech in the Senate chamber in Ottawa

FILE PHOTO: Canada’s Governor General Julie Payette delivers the throne speech in the Senate chamber in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada September 23, 2020. Adrian Wyld/Pool via REUTERS./File Photo

January 21, 2021

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Governor General Julie Payette, the representative of the country’s head of state, Queen Elizabeth, quit on Thursday amid allegations of workplace harassment, domestic media said, in an embarrassment for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

CBC, CTV and Global News said Payette resigned just hours after the results of an independent probe into the allegations of verbal abuse and bullying by Payette were given to senior officials. The offices of Trudeau and Payette had no immediate comment.

The resignation has no immediate implications for Trudeau and his Liberal government. The governor general has a largely ceremonial job but can on rare occasions be asked to settle constitutional questions.

Payette was appointed in October 2017 on Trudeau’s recommendation. Even after the probe was launched last July, Trudeau defended Payette, saying in September that she was “an excellent governor general.”

Payette was formerly the country’s chief astronaut and the first Canadian to board the International Space Station.

She will be replaced temporarily by Richard Wagner, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Leslie Adler and Peter Cooney)

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