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

OTTAWA — 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.

“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.

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

Just Posted

A candlelight vigil will be held in Red Deer on Thursday to honour the 350-plus people killed in the Easter bombing attack in Sri Lanka. Contributed photo
Candlelight vigil planned for deaths linked to Olymel COVID-19 outbreak

A candlelight vigil is being planned for those who died due to… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels forward Jaxsen Wiebe battles Calgary Hitmen forward Cael Zimmerman for a loose puck when the two teams squared off in February last season. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Calgary Hitmen shutout Red Deer Rebels

Rebels name centre Jayden Grubbe team captain ahead of Friday’s game

Traffic will be delayed on 40th Avenue and 19th Street until the end of February. (Advocate file photo).
Traffic delays expected downtown this weekend

Red Deer drivers will be delayed in the downtown area of the… Continue reading

COVID
Red Deer down to 313 active cases of COVID-19

Alberta reports an additional 411 COVID-19 cases

Bryson, six, and Mara, eight, play with puppies from Dogs With Wings Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Dogs With Wings introduces Red Deer program

A program that trains puppies to be certified service, autism, facility and… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: Just don’t call it cod liver oil

Many people swear that a daily dose of various vitamins is an… Continue reading

Email editor@auburn-reporter.com
Letter: Preserving green spaces in Red Deer

The Advocate published an article Feb. 11 about Sunnybrook residents concerned about… Continue reading

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Los Angeles Kings head coach Darryl Sutter, top, is shown on the bench after NHL action against the Clagary Flames  in Calgary, Alta., Thursday April 9, 2015. Sutter says he has "unfinished business" as he returns to coach the Calgary Flames. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
Darryl Sutter has ‘unfinished business’ in return to Calgary Flames

Darryl Sutter has ‘unfinished business’ in return to Calgary Flames

Walter Gretzky talks to people while at the funeral of Celtic music legend John Allan Cameron at St. Isaac Jogues Church in Pickering, Ont., Monday, Nov. 27, 2006. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘A legend in his own right’: Hockey world pays tribute to the late Walter Gretzky

‘A legend in his own right’: Hockey world pays tribute to the late Walter Gretzky

Jordan Spieth follows his approach shot to the ninth green during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament Friday, March 5, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Conners builds 1-shot lead at Bay Hill as McIlroy lurks

Conners builds 1-shot lead at Bay Hill as McIlroy lurks

Team Canada skip Brad Gushue makes a shot as he plays Team Ontario at the Brier in Calgary, Alta., Friday, March 5, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Brier in the Bubble: Defending champion Gushue beats Epping in opening draw

Brier in the Bubble: Defending champion Gushue beats Epping in opening draw

Switzerland's celebrates after the final match at the Women's Curling World Championship in Silkeborg Denmark Sunday March 24. 2019. The 2021 world women's curling championship is back on the curling calendar. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ritzau Scanpix - Henning Bagger
Women’s world curling championship back on calendar, added to Calgary bubble

Women’s world curling championship back on calendar, added to Calgary bubble

Most Read