While being symbolically important, the office of Governor General is really of little use for Canada. Governor Generals are appointed to the role by Prime Ministers to essentially serve as chief ribbon cutters and speech deliverers to parliament. They are a remnant of the Monarchy which we could really do without. At best, they spare elected officials from duties which call for pomp and circumstance rather than material importance. If a modern day Governor General ever actually exercised their theoretical power and tried to override the will of parliament, it would truly bring about the end to the office of Governor General.
Most who serve in the role of Governor General take the plum they were handed and manage the role with dignity. Julie Payette however has gone full Marie Antoinette with the role and is embracing the luxuries of the role while abusing what she sees as commoners around her and dodging official duties whenever possible. The role has truly gone to Payette’s head and she thinks she is royalty. This happened rather quickly as she has only perched on the throne of Governor General for a few years now.
It has been reported that Payette screams at and humiliates staff at Rideau Hall. Payette’s secretary and friend, Assunta Di Lorenzo, is also accused of harassing employees and calling some “lazy” and “incompetent.” Payette has been burning through staff at an unprecedented rate. It is little wonder that she has to have her personal friend in the role of secretary and that her friend appears to be as snotty and belligerent as she is.
Payette has been reported to bring staff to tears during ongoing berating sessions when staff are trapped on planes with her. Apparently, travel brings out the worst in Payette which is rather ironic in an astronaut and idiotic in one who chose to accept a role that includes frequent travel.
Despite a base salary of nearly $300,000 plus numerable benefits and having pretty much every life expense covered for her by the taxpayer, Payette has not shied away from bitching about and refusing to do her job when called to.
In her first year in office, Payette caused a fuss when she balked at signing a bill for Royal Assent in June because she didn’t want to have to rearrange her June schedule. Signing bills is literally her damn job and how hard could it be??
Rideau Hall is the official residence for the Governor General. It is essentially a 102,000 square foot palace on acres of property with 27 outbuildings. To date, Payette has still refused to move into Rideau Hall as she feels that it isn’t good enough for her.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent on Rideau Hall under the direction of Payette on renovations since Payette became Governor General including an absurd $140,000, spent studying and designing a private staircase that was never built! You see, Payette has been trying to find ways that she could navigate her palace without actually being exposed to the commoners who pay for it and the staircase was a problem for her.
This all paints a picture of an elitist of the grossest kind who wants all of the benefits of being appointed to one of the top positions in the land while not actually having to follow through on the obligations that come with it.
Apologists for Payette (and they are dwindling) try to explain that she is a private person who doesn’t care for all of this spotlight and exposure to people. In that case, why the hell did she accept a role which is nothing but spotlight and exposure to people?
While millions of Canadians are unemployed and we face a fiscal crisis like none other seen before, Governor General Julie Payette is leading a life of luxury and excess while having the temerity and gall to actually bitch about it. What a slap in the face to the people who work so hard to pay taxes in order to fund the palace which apparently doesn’t meet the standards of Payette.
I guess it’s hardly a shocker that Trudeau chose Payette to fill this role. It’s not as if Pierre Jr. has much experience with the challenges of the peasant class himself. Unfortunately, accountability isn’t one of Justin’s strong points either and it is unlikely that he will show the courage to call out Payette’s abhorrent behavior.
Once a Governor General is appointed, they are pretty much impossible to remove before the end of the term.
One thing that can be done though is to sharply cut the budget of the office. Take away Julie Payette’s servants, limousines, private jets and chefs. Let her do her own damn laundry while living in a Motel 6 while eating at Denny’s. I assure you that the problem will suddenly take care of itself.
Until Julie Payette leaves the office of Governor General, she will remain an embarrassment in Canada second only to the Prime Minister who appointed her.