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

Sandy Carmichael is a Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as Seniors’ Champion. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Worker bee returns to volunteer: Sandy Carmichael a fixture at Langford Royal Canadian Legion

Sandy Carmichael is the 2021 recipient of the Seniors’ Champion Award

The It’s Critical campaign has raised $5.89 million towards its $7 million goal to expand critical care capacity at Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital. (Black Press Media file photo)
Critical care improvements make the list with Greater Victoria shoppers

Save-On-Foods pledges $300,000 to Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s It’s Critical campaign

West Shore Parks and Recreation facilities face a challenging future in terms of funding, due to reduced operations throughout the pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore Parks and Recreation faces challenging future

West Shore Parks and Recreation Society submits 2021 budget request to owner municipalities

Approximately 100 people gathered in Centennial Square Saturday afternoon to listen to speakers decry COVID-19 restrictions. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Victoria residents protest masks, COVID-19 restrictions

Approximately 100 people gathered in Centennial Square Saturday afternoon

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after cancellations on Friday due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

Most Read