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Senate to apologize, explore compensation, for employees harassed by ex-senator

OTTAWA — The Senate’s administration committee says it will issue a formal apology to — and explore financial compensation for — employees who were bullied and sexually harassed by former senator Don Meredith.

Meredith resigned from the Senate in 2017 shortly after its ethics committee recommended he be expelled from the chamber for using his position to pursue a sexual relationship with a teenager.

In June 2019, the Senate’s ethics officer concluded a lengthy investigation that found Meredith had both harassed and sexually harassed some of his employees, including with threats, intimidation, repeated touching and kissing.

The ethics committee could not pursue that report because Meredith had already resigned, so the Senate standing committee on internal economy, budgets and administration took it up instead.

The committee heard from the former employees about their experiences of harassment and says it will issue a “formal statement of regret” and hire an outside evaluator to determine financial compensation.

The committee says the evaluator’s determination will be based on other recent harassment settlements in the RCMP, Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 25, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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