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

Two men killed in Hwy 3 collision west of Castlegar

The single-vehicle incident happened Thursday morning

Central Mountain Air to offer flights out of Castlegar

The company will be offering Castlegar to Vancouver flights October 1.

Health ministry to hire 33 new practitioners for Kootenay Boundary

Over 15,000 people in the region don’t have access to a primary care provider

Trail RCMP set up critical new service to help keep loved ones, safe

Registration is voluntary and can be withdrawn at any time

Update: School District 20 office reports COVID cases

Two cases of COVID were reported at the School District 20 office in Trail

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

Interior Health reports four new cases of COVID-19

First hospitalization since mid-August announced

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Conservation groups blast province for logging in caribou habitat near Revelstoke

In the last year, 104 cuts have been approved near Revelstoke in caribou habitat

B.C.’s 1st mental health and addictions minister won’t be seeking re-election

MLA Judy Darcy is the fifth cabinet minister not intending to run in the next election

Most Read