Canada’s next Governor General boasts an impressive background: An astronaut, she was the first Canadian woman to board the International Space Station. She speaks six languages, and has been awarded the Order of Canada and the National Order of Quebec.
Since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau nominated Julie Payette to be the official representative of Canada’s head of state – Queen Elizabeth II – in Canada, media reports have also shown her to have a somewhat troubled past: She was found innocent of any fault after striking and killing a pedestrian with her SUV in 2011. That same year, she was charged with assault in Maryland, but the charge was later dropped and expunged from her record.
Against this backdrop, a new public opinion poll from the Angus Reid Institute finds a small majority of Canadians (55%) approve of Payette’s nomination to the viceregal post. Fewer than one-in-six (14%) disapprove, while 30 per cent are unsure.
- Canadians are almost four times as likely to strongly approve of Payette’s nomination (26% do) as they are to strongly disapprove of it (7%)
- Approval of Payette’s nomination is highest among residents of her home province of Quebec (68%), as well as among those who voted for Trudeau’s Liberal Party in the 2015 election (72%)
- Disapproval of Trudeau’s choice of Payette for the Governor General position, meanwhile, is highest in Alberta (20%) and among past Conservative Party voters (25%)
Link to the poll here: www.angusreid.org/governor-general-payette