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Canada probes governor general over harassment claims

Governor General Julie Payette, a former astronaut, was nominated to the largely ceremonial post in 2017 to represent Queen Elizabeth II in Canada, a Commonwealth country (AFP Photo/Fred Chartrand)
Governor General Julie Payette, a former astronaut, was nominated to the largely ceremonial post in 2017 to represent Queen Elizabeth II in Canada, a Commonwealth country (AFP Photo/Fred Chartrand)

(AFP)

Governor General Julie Payette, Queen Elizabeth II’s representative in Canada, faces a probe after claims of workplace harassment were levelled against her office.

The announcement Thursday of the investigation followed a CBC network report in which unnamed sources alleged a “toxic climate” in the office, and accused Payette of “verbal violence.”

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“Harassment has no place in any professional workplace,” the Privy Council Office (PCO), a team of bureaucrats working under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, said in a statement announcing the review.

“The PCO… will immediately take steps to retain the services of an independent third party to conduct the review,” it added.

The governor general’s office said it was “dismayed” by the CBC report adding that no formal harassment complaint had been filed.

Payette, a former astronaut, was nominated to the largely ceremonial post in 2017 to represent Queen Elizabeth II in Canada, a Commonwealth country.

The governor general typically serves a five-year term, but the duration is at the discretion of the Queen.

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