Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks in the in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks in the in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Payette shouldn’t get same benefits as other ex-governors general: O’Toole

Former governors general are entitled to a pension and also get a regular income paid to them for the rest of their lives

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says it’s not appropriate for former governor general Julie Payette to receive the customary benefits afforded to those who’ve left the post.

Payette resigned last week ahead of the release of a report concluding she oversaw a highly toxic work environment at Rideau Hall.

Former governors general are entitled to a pension and also get a regular income paid to them for the rest of their lives, and O’Toole demanded to know Monday whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had raised that subject with Payette when they last spoke.

Trudeau should be clear on what he promised her, O’Toole said.

“It’s not appropriate in a case where there’s a break in the in the assignment of the Governor General,” O’Toole said Monday at a news conference ahead of the return of Parliament.

He accused Trudeau, who leads a minority government, of sullying the office, and also of being in a conflict of interest when it comes to choosing Payette’s replacement, given the government could fall at any time.

“This is a small constitutional crisis caused by Mr. Trudeau’s (office),” O’Toole said.

ALSO READ: Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

“He must consult the other parties to show Canadians that there’s an assurance that there’s no politicization of this important role.”

How Trudeau handled Payette’s appointment, subsequent problems and how he’ll find her replacement will form part of the debate as Parliament resumes today.

O’Toole says his party will also press for an emergency debate the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, saying that with major delays in the delivery of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine — no doses are coming this week — the Liberals need to lay out what they’re doing in response.

”There are so many questions outstanding, despite the government claiming they had a plan,” he said.

“We wish we could trust the prime minister, but this situation demands Parliament’s urgent attention.”

O’Toole accused the Liberals of being more focused on pre-election posturing and “reimagining” the economy, as opposed to being seized entirely with the crisis called by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Green party Leader Annamie Paul said there should be no partisan or political bickering when it comes to Parliament solving the major crisis at hand.

“As this new sitting begins, we note the government is straying further and further from the prime minister’s promise to ‘keep doing whatever it takes, for as long as it takes,’ to beat COVID-19 and protect Canadians through the crisis,” she said.

Parliament returns from its winter break Monday as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to put intense pressure on Canadians.

Quebec remains under curfew, parts of Ontario are under stay-at-home orders, and new more contagious variants of the vaccine are now ripping through some of the most vulnerable segments of society.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said his party will continue to push for more paid sick leave to ensure more of Canada’s vulnerable populations, including residents of long-term care facilities and the people who care for them, are better protected from the spread of the virus.

“That’s going to be a focus of our return to Parliament. How do we help Canadians? How do we support people in this difficult time and finally making sure everyone gets vaccinated?” he said.

At least 19,000 Canadians have died since the first cases of COVID-19 emerged in Canada exactly a year ago.

Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

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

Just Posted

Construction takes place on Bamfield Main in early February 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY CTV NEWS)
Closures planned for Bamfield Road

Construction by Mosaic unrelated to $30M upgrade

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The Alberni Valley’s Emergency Operations Centre is located around the corner and below the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District office. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)
Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District tests new mobile alert system

Residents can still sign up for free Voyent Alert! emergency messaging

Crews respond to a structure fire in the 6000 block of Renton Road in Cherry Creek on Saturday, Feb. 27. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Workshop destroyed in Cherry Creek fire

Crews stayed on scene overnight fighting ‘stubborn’ blaze

(NEWS FILE PHOTO)
Tax error in 2020 means lower rate for residents in 2021

Alberni’s taxation for regional library accidently written down twice

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Most Read