Embattled Sen. Don Meredith is seen in his Toronto lawyer’s office in downtown Toronto on Thursday, March 16, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel

Senate agrees to compensate harassment victims of ex-senator Don Meredith

The committee did not mention legal costs

The Senate has agreed with recommendations from an independent evaluator that the victims of disgraced ex-senator Don Meredith should be compensated.

The Senate standing committee on internal economy met behind closed doors Thursday to consider the recent report by former Quebec Appeal Court judge Louise Otis.

Otis had been tasked to speak with six former employees in Meredith’s office and review all materials from a four-year investigation completed last year by the Senate ethics officer.

That investigation concluded that Meredith had repeatedly bullied, threatened and intimidated his staff, and that he had also touched, kissed and propositioned some of them.

In a statement Thursday night, the Senate committee did not say how much the staff would receive, but that in her recommendations, Otis had averaged compensation levels in line with the amounts awarded in three major recent class-action lawsuit settlements involving harassment in the public sector.

“Employees who participated in the independent evaluation process will be contacted by the office of the Senate law clerk and parliamentary counsel,” the committee said.

Two women who worked for Meredith had previously complained about the evaluation process, saying they were barred from using lawyers when speaking with Otis, told their legal costs would not be covered and that Otis’ recommendations would not be binding on the Senate.

After they came forward the Senate shifted the rules, allowing them to have counsel and that their costs may be covered — if Otis also recommended that as part of her report.

The committee did not mention legal costs in its release Thursday, though did say it will meet again to consider the report.

Meredith was appointed by former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper in 2010. He resigned in 2017 following a separate investigation and subsequent recommendations by the Senate’s ethics committee that he be expelled for using his position to pursue a sexual relationship with a teenager.

He has not faced any criminal charges.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Morning Start: There is a Hot Pink Lake in Australia

Your morning start for Friday, Sept. 25, 2020

Penticton Vees name NHL prospect as assistant captain

The Vees kick off the Okanagan Cup tournament Sept. 25 at 6 p.m. at the SOEC

GoByBike Week is back, celebrating 10th anniversary in Penticton

Registered participants are eligible for various perks and prizes

‘Schools are healthy’: IH medical health officer

Children have a low risk of catching and spreading COVID-19

Penticton quadruple murder trial begins in Kelowna next month

John Brittain, 69, is facing three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

B.C.’s top doctor thanks supporters after revealing threats over COVID-19 measures

Dr. Bonnie Henry says COVID-19 has caused some people to lash out in anger and frustration out of fear

NDP, Greens divided on pace of child care improvements in B.C. election campaign

NDP Leader John Horgan recommitted to $10-a-day child care and blamed the Greens for not supporting his efforts

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Kamloops Mounties happened upon alleged gang-related robbery, kidnapping

Michael Mathieson is charged with armed robbery, unlawful confinement and kidnapping

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Interior Health reports five new COVID-19 cases

Across the region, 34 cases are active

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Historic BC Tree Fruits head office in Okanagan for sale

The company’s CEO said the decision was necessary due to a fickle fruit market

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Most Read