The incoming GG Mary Simon will move into Rideau Hall-unlike her predecessor
Unlike her predecessor, Julie Payette, the Governor-designate Mary Simon plans to move into Julie Payette-she is the first since the Confederation to live outside the official residence The governor.
On Tuesday, Simon became the first Aboriginal in history to be appointed to the office. Payette announced her appointment nearly six months after an external investigation found that the workplace she presided over was poisonous and shamelessly resigned.
“Ms. Simon has been to this residence several times this week,” Natalie Babin Dufresne, director of communications at Rideau Hall, told CBC News.
“She is honored to move in. Plans are coming soon, but they are being worked out.”
During Payette’s tenure, she was criticized for refusing to live in the 5,000-square-foot dormitory reserved for her. The federal government spent more than $250,000 to take measures to satisfy Payette’s desire for more privacy in the residence, but she never moved in. The living area has been vacant for about four years.
Rideau Hall is the official residence and workplace of the Governor. Throughout her tenure, Payette did conduct business outside of her office.
Nathan Tidridge, deputy director of the Crown Institute at Massey College in Canada, said that Simon’s move in was “good news.”
“It is vital that the governor lives in the official residence of Rideau Hall,” Tiedrich said. “This is an important point for the treatment required by Rideau Hall itself and the staff there.”
Simon is inheriting a broken workplace in transition. Some staff took sick leave or left the office altogether to avoid the stressful working environment under Payette’s leadership. Some people later returned to the Rideau Hall.
“The staff is like a big family, so let the Governor as a resident refocus it into that type of space,” Tiedridge said.
“So it’s not just an office. It’s a home. It really is the anchor point for this.”
Tidrdige said that he also hopes to see Simon transform the Rideau Hall into a safe space for the aborigines.
NCC is ready for Rideau Hall
The National Capital Council spent more than $40,000 on daily maintenance work to prepare Rideau Hall for new tenants: updating the countertops of private dormitories, repairing heating and cooling systems, and replacing chandelier lifts.
Payette chose to live in an 8,500-square-foot hotel outside the Rideau Hall-which means that the Department of Global Affairs can no longer use the house to receive visiting heads of state and foreign dignitaries. During the pandemic, Payette lived in her own private cabin in Quebec. According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation News, this meant that the RCMP had to travel to the area and stay in a hotel, and pay extra.
The government spent Nearly $140,000 was spent on researching and designing a private staircase for Payette that had never been built, and over $117,500 was spent on a door and a series of doors to prevent people from leaving her office.
The RCMP conducts a training exercise today
Rideau Hall said last summer that it was still addressing the building’s accessibility, privacy, and security issues — some of which emerged after a security breach on July 2, 2020.
Back in March, a judge sentenced Corey Hurren-who rushed into the gate of Rideau Hall with loaded guns and multiple rounds of ammunition last summer-six years in prison, minus one year in prison.
The RCMP stated that training exercises are being conducted in the Lido Hall today, “to verify the national standard operating procedures, to identify and correct any potential problems that may arise in actual incidents, and to ensure preparation for any possible incidents.”
Simon’s installation ceremony is expected to take place in the next few weeks.