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

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

COLUMN: We don’t need an election. But it’s 2020, so we’ll probably get one anyways.

There are only selfish reasons for the NDP to trigger an election this fall

Say ‘Hi’ to the mountains (and rain): The smoke is gone from the Fraser Valley, for now

Saturday’s Fraser Valley air quality forecast at ‘moderate risk,’ but morning showers leave skies clear

Machine pistol among 14 firearms seized from Alaska man at Abbotsford border crossing

Corey Scott Kettering faces charges of smuggling and prohibited firearm possession

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read