Report into Julie Payette’s conduct at Rideau Hall finds toxic environment, public humiliations

by Peter Zimonjic, Ryan Patrick Jones, Ashley Burke

Report details ‘yelling, screaming, aggressive conduct, demeaning comments and public humiliations’

An independent report examining the workplace culture at Rideau Hall found that former governor general Julie Payette and her second-in-command Assunta Di Lorenzo presided over a toxic work environment.

Released under the Access to Information Act Wednesday night, the heavily redacted report details allegations from staff members of “yelling, screaming, aggressive conduct, demeaning comments and public humiliations.”

The report said 43 staff members at Rideau Hall described the general work environment as “hostile or negative.”

Twenty-six people interviewed “used the words ‘toxic’ or ‘poisoned’ to describe the general work atmosphere” at Rideau Hall during Payette’s time there.

The Quintet Consulting Corporation, which conducted the report, interviewed 92 current and former employees and other “knowledgeable individuals.” The consultants concluded that “there is a serious problem that requires [the Privy Council Office’s] immediate attention.”

Fewer than 10 participants described positive or neutral feelings about the work environment. The overwhelming majority of participants interviewed described experiences that would be “objectively considered” concerning, the report said.

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