School of Policy Studies

School of Policy Studies
School of Policy Studies

Lessons from the Julie Payette affair? Even the governor general can be held accountable

January 25, 2021
The Ottawa Citizen - Eugene Lang, Adjunct Professor, School of Policy Studies, Queen's University; Fellow, Canadian Global Affairs Institute


In the pantheon of bad government appointments, Julie Payette – who last week resigned as governor general, owing to findings that she engaged in what amounts to workplace harassment at Rideau Hall – ranks near the top.

Choosing a governor general – or more precisely, recommending to the Queen a suitable representative for the Crown in Canada – is not among the most difficult tasks of a prime minister. The main challenge arises in selecting among a wide range of worthy candidates.

Which leads to the question, what are the core qualifications for governor general?

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