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Senate balks on removal of Payette benefits

Payette stepped down from her post after a workplace investigation found systemic harassment. She was only 3-and-a-half years into her term.

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The Senate had a chance to do what many Canadians want – the removal of lifetime benefits from shamed former Gov.-Gen. Julie Payette – but they balked on the idea Tuesday night, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

Senators argued the removal of Payette’s benefits wouldn’t be fair to her and she may turn to the courts.

Payette stepped down from her post after a workplace investigation found systemic harassment. She was only 3-and-a-half years into her term.

“I’m just wondering if the former governor-general decided to turn to the courts, what that might mean in terms of problems for our country,” said Sen. Lucie Moncion (Ont.).

Bill S-232 would retroactively deny Payette’s benefits and those of any future appointee who fails to complete their term. Payette is entitled to a $143,000-a year pension for life and a $206,040 annual expense budget.

“It’s simply a disgraceful situation,” said Sen. Claude Carignan (Que.), sponsor of the bill.

“It’s shocking to a great number of Canadians.

“The average salary in Canada is $48,800 and if an employee wanted to build a decent pension they would have to make contributions for many years. It is inconceivable and irresponsible for an individual who does not complete their five-year term of office to automatically receive a pension for life.”

Payette resigned last January 21 after seventeen employees quit Rideau Hall over complaints of workplace bullying. Legal fees in the case cost taxpayers $249,627. A human resources investigation cost another $369,367.

It was the shortest tenure of any governor-general since 1872.

“It’s not my intention to put the governor-general on trial, but to be honest I was stupefied to learn the Act offers no guidance about the payment of a lifetime pension,” said Carignan.

Lifetime benefits for Payette “didn’t make any sense. This situation was clearly not anticipated by legislators.”

However senators said the retroactive elimination of benefits was unfair to Payette.

“When she took this position she knew there were certain benefits associated with her position, so now you are taking them away from her,” said Sen.Pierre Dalphond (Que.).

“Yes, that’s right,” replied Carignan.

“As distasteful as we may find the pension going to the former general, it’s not her fault that when she accepted the terms and conditions of the position that those were the terms and conditions,” said Sen. Percy Downe (P.E.I.).

“I am not in favour of any retroactive provision of your bill.”

“It seems to me it’s about fairness,” said Sen. Éric Forest (Que.).

“Let’s say the person resigns after one month or four years, I mean, that’s quite a difference.”

The last governor-general to resign before the expiry of their term was Romeo LeBlanc, who quit in 1999 after four years due to early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Jules Leger, appointed governor-general in 1974, served his full term despite suffering a severe stroke six months in office that forced him to take speech therapy.

“These long months have brought me close to those who suffer,” Leger said in his 1975 New Year’s Message.

Senators Tuesday night adjourned Second Reading debate on the bill.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Darlene Belford

    June 4, 2021 at 9:47 am

    It is NOT the Senate’s job to decide points of law in the courts. They should have had the strength of character to set a precedent/change the pork barrel rules of Senate compensation/pension/expense payments to be more in keeping with 90% (?) of the rest of us! But wait–foolish me–it seems that people in government often are the recipients of MULTIPLE pensions; it would be a hardship if she was denied this benefit.

  2. Steven Ruthven

    June 3, 2021 at 2:25 am

    I’m thinking 🤔, The Senate would be setting a precedent for their own behaviour If they voted to remove her pension. When hasn’t the Canadian Senate not looked out for its own survival?

    When PM Harper was going to abolish the Senate & Harper had appointed Senator’s who were going to vote his way then didn’t. Personally Harper should of held a binding referendum on abolishing the sleepy house.

  3. Sandy

    June 2, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    Palette. Should not receive a pension. She treated her staff so disrespectfully. Trudeau gave her the option to step down or be fired. She chose to step down. She should have been fired with no exceptions. She did not do the job required of her. Anyone else that doc what she did would have been fired. I do not want any of my tax money going to this obnoxious woman.

  4. K

    June 2, 2021 at 2:19 pm

    Ugly, elitist, masonic shrew

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Kenney says leadership review now would be ‘grossly irresponsible’

When asked at a Tuesday press conference by the Toronto Star about the Mullan letter, Kenney responded there has been opposition to his health care policy “since Day 1.”

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney last night rejected any calls for an immediate leadership review of him as “grossly irresponsible.”

Kenney has been under withering attacks for his handling of the COVID-19 crisis in Alberta, which led to the “resignation” Tuesday of Health Minister Tyler Shandro.

A UCP caucus meeting is set for Wednesday and Kenney’s leadership is expected to be the main point of discussion.

Dozens of grassroots UCP constituency associations have joined forces to call for an early leadership review of Kenney. The party currently has one scheduled in late 2022, only six months before the next provincial election.

UCP VP of policy Joel Mullan wrote an open letter in the Western Standard Tuesday called for Kenney to go immediately.

When asked at a Tuesday press conference by the Toronto Star about the Mullan letter, Kenney responded there has been opposition to his health care policy “since Day 1.”

“My responsibility is to look at the reality — not wish it away — and take the necessary steps to protect the health care system,” Kenney said.

“Let’s deal with those things at the right time, after this crisis.”

Kenney was asked if the internal turmoil within the UCP was what led to the resignation of Shandro.

“I am focused on getting through the fourth wave of COVID, not politics,” Kenney said.

“We have to protect the health care system to prevent needless deaths — we will not allow politics to distract us.”

Kenney said he knew when he brought in the fourth wave of COVID-19 lockdowns last week and flip-flopped on his promise not to bring in vaccine passports there would be internal grumblings.

He said the COVID-19 cabinet committee has had 12 hours of “respectful” meeting time with the full UCP caucus.

Kenney pointed out the People’s Party of Canada, which ran on an anti-vaccination platform, took 8% of the vote in Alberta in the federal election.

“Let me be blunt, those people likely voted for me in the last provincial election,” Kenney said.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Kenney said shuffle was ‘time for a fresh start’

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said 29 Albertans died in the last 24 hours from COVID-19, including people who had been doubled-vaxxed, but included many people who hadn’t received any vaccinations at all.

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Tyler Shandro wasn’t fired as health minister, he resigned, says Premier Jason Kenney.

Answering questions after Tuesday’s cabinet shuffle, Kenney said he accepted the resignation from Shandro from the health portfolio.

“Tyler’s dedication to the job has never been questioned. He brought his heart to the job,” Kenney said.

“It’s time for a fresh start.”

Kenney denied the shuffle was done to appease critics in the UCP caucus clamouring for action.

“We are focused on getting through the fourth wave of COVID-19, not politics,” said Kenney.

Kenney promoted Labour Minister Jason Copping to health and put Shandro in his old portfolio in labour.

Kenney said bringing in vaccine passports has had a dramatic effect on the number of people getting vaccinated.

A total of 23,000 people were vaccinated on Monday with 78,000 jabs being given out in the last few days.

A total of 81.4% of people have received at least one vaccine with 72.8% having two jabs.

Since they were made available on Sunday, more than two million Albertans printed out their vaccination passports, Kenney said.

He said Alberta Health Services has expanded the number of ICU beds in the province to 337.

Copping said he was honoured to be named health minister in this “pivotal time.”

He said he has three goals: to increase hospital capacities permanently, educate the unvaccinated on why they should get jabs and to prepare the hospital system for any future waves of COVID.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said 29 Albertans had died in the last 24 hours from COVID-19, including people who had been doubled-vaxxed, but included many people who hadn’t received any vaccinations at all.

She said the province had identified 1,500 new cases in the last day from 13,600 tests for an 11.1% positivity rate.

There are 996 people in hospital as of September 21 with COVID, and 222 in ICU.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Jean thinking about Fort Mac by-election run

On Tuesday, Jean posted a picture of himself speaking on a mic with a graphic of the riding.

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Former Wildrose leader Brian Jean is musing whether or not to run in a by-election in Fort McMurray.

On Tuesday, Jean posted a picture of himself speaking on a mike with a graphic of the riding behind him.

“There is a byelection coming soon in my old riding in Fort McMurray. Should I run?” he asks Facebook followers.

“Let me know in the comments. Sign up on my webpage for updates.”

The riding was left vacate recently when UCP MLA Laila Goodridge resigned to run for the federal Conservatives. She easily won the riding capturing 67% of the vote.

Jean was the leader of the original Wildrose and was leader of the Opposition from 2015 to 2017.

He ran for the leadership of the UCP, but lost the race to Jason Kenney.

Jean has been increasingly slamming Kenney from the sidelines over his handling of numerous issues.

He called on Kenney to resign after his infamous Sky Palace dinner.

Jean, called on Alberta Premier Jason Kenney to resign in the wake of the Sky Palace Scandal.

“FOR THE GOOD OF THE UCP, FOR THE GOOD OF ALBERTA, IT IS TIME FOR JASON KENNEY TO RESIGN,” Jean wrote in capital letters on his Facebook page.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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