Experts: Julie Payette stepping down as governor general

News

Published: 1Feb2021

Governor General Julie Payette and her secretary, Assunta di Lorenzo, are resigning after an outside workplace review of Rideau Hall found that the pair presided over a toxic work environment. Last year, an independent consulting firm was hired by the Privy Council Office to review reports that Payette was responsible for workplace harassment at Rideau Hall. (CBC News)

Here are some experts from McGill University that can provide comment on this issue:

Daniel Béland, James McGill Professor, Department of Political Science and Director, McGill Institute for the Study of Canada

The resignation of Julie Payette is an unprecedented move that calls into question the judgement of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who appointed her without sufficient vetting. This resignation also exacerbates political uncertainty in the context of a minority parliament in which the governor general’s constitutional role is highly significant.”

Daniel Béland is the Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada and James McGill Professor of Political Science. He specializes in the fields of Canadian and comparative politics, as well as the study of public policy, including social policy.

daniel.beland [at] mcgill.ca (English, French)

Patricia Faison Hewlin, Associate Professor, Desautels Faculty of Management

During these uncertain and devastating times, we are in critical need of leaders who are skilled at connecting to people in meaningful ways—building unity, allaying concerns, and showing empathy. Leaders who have placed these skills on the lower end of their priorities are now finding themselves less able to lead effectively. The days are over when leaders could skimp on emotional intelligence and building relationships. Employees are demanding more from their leaders.”

Patricia Faison Hewlin is an Associate Professor of Organizational Behaviour at the Desautels Faculty of Management. She conducts research on how organization members and leaders engage in authentic expression, centering on employee silence, and the degree to which members suppress personal values and pretend to embrace those of the organization, a behavior she has termed as “creating facades of conformity”.

patricia.hewlin [at] mcgill.ca (English)

Brian Rubineau, Associate Professor, Desautels Faculty of Management

Former Governor-General Julie Payette has had an impressive career as an engineer, astronaut, and public advocate for women's involvement in STEM careers. However, such a career does not guarantee learning the skills needed to lead and manage a large governmental organization and to cultivate a productive and inclusive working environment for its members. To cultivate a productive work environment, managers need training, but they also need to go beyond that.. Learning the skills of good management is not enough – the skills and behaviors must be enacted to benefit the organization.”

Brian Rubineau is an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Desautels Faculty of Management. His research investigates how informal social dynamics contribute to inequalities in occupations and labour markets. He has previously been a Residential Research Fellow at the Institute for the Social Sciences at Cornell University and a Graduate Fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University.

brian.rubineau [at] mcgill.ca (English)

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