Conservative leader Erin O’Toole says former governor general Julie Payette should not get access to the expense account traditionally granted to those who held the post for full terms, given she resigned early.

In a press conference Monday morning, O’Toole was asked directly about whether Payette deserves access to the expenses, which are not required to be fully disclosed to the public and which have come under increasing scrutiny over recent years after high claims from former governors general.

“She resigned her role. She should not be able to access the normal courtesies provided to governor generals,” said O’Toole, before questioning whether the topic of expenses might be one that was raised in the meetings where Payette was urged to resign.

“The office, sadly, has been sullied. We are in a minority parliament. We had a very non-partisan committee that looked at vice-regal appointments. (Prime Minister Trudeau) should go back to that, but at the bare minimum he should consult other parties and he should tell Canadians whether he guaranteed, as part of the deal for her to resign, whether he guaranteed her these funds and benefits.”

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The standard term for a governor general is five years.

READ MORE: Former governors general get perks like expense accounts. Should Julie Payette?

Payette resigned late last week after just three-and-a-half, amid what sources describe as a “scathing” review into allegations of bullying and “toxic” workplace behaviour at the governor general’s residence, Rideau Hall.

Global News asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week whether he plans to change any of the rules around the expense program in light of Payette’s conduct and early resignation.

He gave no clear answer.

“This country has very clear rules and regulations and processes and procedures in place to follow in these cases of reporting expenses or indeed on annuities for governor generals,” Trudeau said.

“Those processes will be followed but obviously we’re always open to having discussions on changes that need to be made moving forward.”

More to come.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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