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

This map illustrates the number of active COVID-19 cases in Greater Vancouver from Feb. 21 to Feb. 27, 2021. (BC Centre for Disease Control image)
Delta’s COVID-19 numbers continue to climb

Total number of cases in Fraser Health increased by 206 from Feb. 21-27

Delta police have arrested a suspect in the theft of a custom-made wheelchair hoist stolen from a Ladner condo complex’s underground parkade on Dec. 15, 2020. (Debbie J Green/Facebook photos)
Delta police arrest suspect in theft of custom wheelchair hoist

The device was stolen Dec. 15, 2020 in Ladner and later recovered, stripped and damaged, in Surrey

TEASER - SAGAís Gift Shop Manager Barbie Warwick wearing The Summons while sketching in Facing Time exhibit. Photo by Pardeep Singh.jpg
‘The Summons’ face masks created as fundraiser for Surrey Art Gallery Association

Image of magnolia flower and poetry printed on specially designed mask

An officer collects forensic evidence from a police SUV following the July 18, 2015 incident that ended in the police-shooting death of Hudson Brooks in South Surrey. (File photo)
Experts discuss toxicology, use-of-force at inquest into fatal 2015 police shooting in South Surrey

Proceedings could lead to recommendations for preventing similar deaths

Whalley Chiefs general manager Paul Hargreaves in the stands at the club's diamond at Whalley Athletic Park. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Surrey baseball clubs prep for spring games as COVID threatens another season

‘I’m really excited about this year, because we have the troops in place,’ Whalley Chiefs GM says

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

RCMP members responded to calls of a man-down at Landsdowne mall in Richmond Wednesday afternoon. The 40-year-old was suffering from stab wounds. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man in critical condition following afternoon attack outside Richmond mall: RCMP

The Vancouver resident was found lying injured outside Richmond’s Lansdowne Centre

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
B.C. mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

(Pxhere)
B.C. research reveals how pandemic has changed attitudes towards sex, health services

CDC survey shows that 35 per cent of people were worried about being judged

A bus rider uses a support bar with an anti-microbial copper coating, newly implemented as part of a TransLink pilot program. (TransLink)
‘Self-disinfecting’ copper coming to more of TransLink’s fleet to fight against COVID-19

The transit authority says tests showed the surface was 99.9% effective in killing pathogens

RCMP were on scene under the Menzies Street bridge in Chilliwack on Thursday, March 4, 2021 where a body was found. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
UPDATE: Body found under Menzies bridge in Chilliwack that of man in 20s

Death not considered suspicious, said Chilliwack RCMP

Some Canadians are finding butter harder than usual, resulting in an avalanche of social media controversy around #buttergate. (Brett Williams/The Observer)
#Buttergate: Concerns around hard butter hit small B.C. towns and beyond

Canadians find their butter was getting harder, blame palm oil in part one of this series

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon speaks in the B.C. legislature, describing work underway to make a small business and tourism aid package less restrictive, Dec. 10, 2020. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends deadline for tourism, small business COVID-19 grants

Business owners expect months more of lost revenues

Most Read