Ottawa, Jan 22 (IANS) Canada’s Governor General Julie Payette has announced her resignation after the conclusion of a harassment investigation at the her office.
“Everyone has a right to a healthy and safe work environment, at all times and under all circumstances. It appears this was not always the case at the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General,” Xinhua news agency quoted Payette as saying in a statement on Thursday.
“Tensions have arisen at Rideau Hall over the past few months and for that, I am sorry,” she added.
Payette’s resignation came hours after media reports said that an independent review into workplace harassment allegations against her was completed and that the details of the report were “damaging”.
“While no formal complaints or official grievances were made during my tenure, which would have immediately triggered a detailed investigation as prescribed by law and the collective agreements in place, I still take these allegations very seriously,” Payette said.
She said her resignation came at an “opportune time” as her father’s health is worsening.
Last July, Canada’s Privy Council Office launched the investigation in response to a CBC News report featuring a dozen public servants and former employees confidentially claiming Payette had belittled, berated and publicly humiliated the staff of Rideau Hall, the Governor General’s office.
Payette was sworn in as the 29th Canadian Governor General in 2017.
Born in Montreal, Payette, 57, worked as an astronaut and scientist and flew two missions in space from 1992 to 2013.
She has previously served as the chief operating officer of the Montreal Science Centre and was also on the board of directors for the National Bank of Canada.