Trudeau has seen shortlist of governor general candidates, is expected to announce choice soon

·2 min read
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to announce soon his choice to be the next governor general of Canada. Julie Payette resigned from the role under a cloud of controversy on Jan. 21. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to announce soon his choice to be the next governor general of Canada. Julie Payette resigned from the role under a cloud of controversy on Jan. 21. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has examined a shortlist of candidates to be the next governor general and is expected to announce his choice in the "not too distant future," said Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc.

LeBlanc previously told senators he believed a new Queen's representative to Canada could be named by Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day on June 24.

"The advisory committee with respect to the appointment of the next governor general concluded its work a couple weeks ago," said LeBlanc. "We gave the prime minister a list of somewhere between one to 10 extraordinary Canadians.

"The prime minister has reflected on the list of names we've given him. We expect not too long from now that Canadians will know the outstanding person who will assume the job of governor general."

Julie Payette resigned from the post more than five months ago after a scathing external review found she had presided over a "toxic" and "poisoned" workplace at Rideau Hall, with episodes of "yelling, screaming, aggressive conduct, demeaning comments and public humiliations."

The third-party review gathered testimony from more than 90 people and was triggered by a CBC News story about alleged mistreatment by Payette and her second-in-command, who also later resigned. Payette has said she takes workplace harassment seriously.

Rideau Hall is currently in a period of transition after a number of staff went on sick leave or left the office altogether during Payette's time in office. Since her departure, some employees have returned to the office or have said they plan to come back.

The office has delayed announcing the recipients of a series of honours, including the Order of Canada, as it reviews nominations.

More than $40,000 in maintenance to prepare Rideau Hall

While the official residence is empty, the National Capital Commission (NCC) said it has been preparing Rideau Hall for the arrival of the new Queen's representative to Canada by cleaning, painting and changing furniture.

The NCC spent just over $40,000 on maintenance jobs:

  • $24,425 for replacing chandelier hoists in two main staircases in the Monck Wing

  • $9,245 for installing a new building automation system control panel for HVAC systems at Rideau Hall

  • $8,638 for updating countertops in the private quarters

Andrew Lee/CBC News
Andrew Lee/CBC News

More than $250,000 was spent to satisfy Payette's desire for privacy at Rideau Hall by, among other things, designing a private staircase that was never built and installing a series of gates to keep people away from her office.

Despite the renovations, Payette never did move into her official residence during her four years in office. The official residence is supposed to be both the workplace and home of the governor general.

The office has been without an occupant since Jan. 21. Supreme Court Justice Richard Wagner has been juggling his top court duties with serving as acting governor general.

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