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Last summer, the federal government took the extraordinary step of ordering an independent investigation into allegations of a toxic workplace at Rideau Hall.

Multiple sources say the report has been finished and is now with the Prime Minister’s Office – and that the results are scathing.

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Many news outlets, including The Globe, have broken stories since 2017 that Governor-General Julie Payette has, in many ways, struggled to adapt to the ceremonial and very public role she is in.

But reporting by the CBC last summer took that a step further, with more than a dozen people who have worked in the Governor-General’s office describing allegations of yelling and bullying in the workplace, by Ms. Payette and her chief aide, Assunta Di Lorenzo.

Ms. Payette and Ms. Di Lorenzo have generally denied the allegations, though the Governor-General said in July that she welcomed the investigation.

The Prime Minister’s Office has not yet made any public statements.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Chris Hannay. It is available exclusively to our digital subscribers. If you’re reading this on the web, subscribers can sign up for the Politics newsletter and more than 20 others on our newsletter signup page. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.


Federal health officials say they are alarmed by the spread of COVID-19 on First Nations.

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The Canada Revenue Agency may have backtracked in allowing artists to claim grants as taxable income for the purposes of receiving emergency benefits – otherwise forcing those artists (many low-income, who have lost work due to the pandemic) to pay back thousands of dollars in benefits.

Nearly a year after the pandemic started, newly sworn-in U.S. President Joe Biden says he will make fighting COVID-19 his top priority. (He also says his first call to a foreign leader will be to Justin Trudeau.)

And Florida has begun clamping down on so-called “vaccine tourism,” after opening the door to many seniors who wanted a COVID-19 vaccine and go south for the winter. The new policy asks for prospective vaccine recipients to provide proof they reside at least part of the time in the state.

Kelly Cryderman (The Globe and Mail) on Alberta’s $1.5-billion bet on the now-doomed Keystone XL: “Given the province’s precarious financial state, the specific terms of the government investment and that it relied on approval in another country, Jason Kenney will wear his oil-infrastructure gambit in a way no other Alberta premier has.”

Don Braid (Calgary Herald) on the pipeline’s cancellation: “This was always going to happen. Biden has said many times that cancelling Keystone would be one of his first actions. It’s hard to imagine that anybody in the federal or Alberta government is really surprised, including Premier Jason Kenney.”

Allison Hanes (Montreal Gazette) on the need for the federal government to crack down on travel: “But if the incoherence is increasingly egregious, the lack of enforcement of even the toothless rules that do exist is truly inexcusable. Trusting people who thought it was okay to leave the country to quarantine on their own is farcical. Yet the reality is there simply aren’t enough resources to check up on everyone who’s supposed to be holed up at home.”

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Robyn Urback (The Globe and Mail) on how Donald Trump refused to go out on a high note: “But Mr. Trump, a walking id, couldn’t help but succumb to his own worst impulses, like an unsupervised child with a bag of Halloween candy. He repeated his baseless claim that the election had been stolen from him, forcing a series of legal embarrassments wherein his lawyers failed to provide anything by way of evidence. His team staged a press conference at a place called “Four Seasons Total Landscaping,” which felt like watching a street preacher howl about election rigging from a hot dog stand. And when his lawyer, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, went on live television to talk about supposedly serious allegations of voter fraud, viewers watched what appeared to be black hair dye drip down his face. It was as if a clown and a despot made love and had a baby, and the result was this attempt to delegitimize democracy.”

Doug Saunders (The Globe and Mail) on the lasting international damage of the Trump administration: “But the fact that these preventable catastrophes have happened, and that Mr. Trump was able to overstep the bounds of behaviour, decency and morality in democratic rule, means that partner countries such as Canada will have to assume, for decades, that this sort of democratic collapse is always possible in the United States. Authoritarian leaders will be able to strengthen their legitimacy and public appeal by pointing to the past four years of U.S. history as the sort of catastrophe democracy can bring.”

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