Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration
Senate to offer financial compensation to employees of former senator Meredith
September 10, 2020
Ottawa – Today, the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration (CIBA) agreed with recommendations regarding compensation made by the Honourable Louise Otis, a former justice of the Quebec Court of Appeal who served as an independent evaluator to determine financial awards for employees affected by the misconduct of former senator Don Meredith.
The Senate Ethics Officer concluded in a June 2019 report that Mr. Meredith had engaged in behaviour that “constitutes both harassment and sexual harassment.”
For the purposes of her evaluation, Ms. Otis was instructed to take all facts in the Senate Ethics Officer’s report as true and proven. In recommending compensation amounts, Ms. Otis averaged compensation levels established in three significant and recent class-action lawsuit settlements relating to instances of harassment, sexual harassment and discrimination in the public sector.
Ms. Otis recommends that the Senate offer financial compensation to staff who were harassed or sexually harassed while working in the office of Mr. Meredith. Employees who participated in the independent evaluation process will be contacted by the Office of the Senate Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel. CIBA will meet again to further discuss Ms. Otis’s report.
- The Honourable Louise Otis agreed to act as independent evaluator on July 7, 2020. She submitted her report to the committee ahead of her September 4, 2020 deadline.
- Don Meredith resigned from the Senate on May 10, 2017 — just days after the Standing Committee on Ethics and Conflict of Interest for Senators had recommended his expulsion from the Senate in a May 2, 2017 report. That report cited another Senate Ethics Officer investigation that concluded Mr. Meredith had carried on an improper sexual relationship with a teenager.
- The Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration issued a statement of regret to employees of Mr. Meredith in the Senate Chamber on June 25, 2020.
- Learn more about the independent evaluation process.
- Read the Senate Ethics Officer’s June 2019 report about former senator Don Meredith.
For more information:
Issues Management and Media Relations Advisor | Senate of Canada
613-410-1892 | firstname.lastname@example.org