The Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration - Subcommittee on Human Resources
Additional information regarding the evaluation process for staff of former senator Meredith
August 6, 2020
Ottawa, August 6, 2020 – In response to media requests, the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration’s Subcommittee on Human Resources is providing additional information regarding the independent evaluation process for staff of former senator Don Meredith.
The evaluation process is independent. The evaluator has a broad mandate to consider the entirety of Mr. Meredith’s conduct and its impact on employees. Neither Mr. Meredith nor representatives of the Senate will be present for any discussions between participants and the evaluator.
The independent evaluation process is optional and non-adversarial. Claims from former employees who choose to participate in the process and that were included in the report of the Senate Ethics Officer will be assessed for potential financial compensation based on the content of his report. The report’s contents will be accepted as true and proven; employees will not be required to provide additional information. They will, however, have the option of providing additional information either through written submission or by phone or videoconference. Individuals who are not included in the report will be invited to make written submissions that will be used to assess their eligibility for financial compensation.
Participants in the process are not precluded from seeking the assistance of legal counsel in preparing and submitting their claim, and counsel may accompany participants during the process. The independent evaluator may recommend that the Senate compensate participants for legal expenses.
The independent evaluation process is modelled on processes adopted in the settlement of three significant and recent class-action lawsuits relating to instances of harassment, sexual harassment and discrimination in the public sector. The settlement amounts outlined in those cases will form the basis of the evaluator’s assessment of an individual’s potential financial compensation.
- The Honourable Louise Otis, a former justice of the Quebec Court of Appeal, has agreed to serve as the independent evaluator. She serves as an assessor in the settlement of a class action lawsuit brought against the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) by women who were harassed and discriminated against while working or volunteering for the Mounties between 1974 and 2019.
- Otis will use the settlements reached in Merlo v. Canada, Heyder v. Canada (Attorney General) and Tiller v. Canada to determine the amount of any financial compensation. To do so, she will calculate the average of the amounts that would likely be provided to a claimant if he or she participated in these settlement processes.
- Individuals are not precluded from pursuing legal claims against the Senate in order to participate in the process. No participant is bound to accept an offer of financial compensation based on the evaluation.
- In a 2019 report, the Office of the Senate Ethics Officer concluded that Mr. Meredith had engaged in behaviour that “constitutes both harassment and sexual harassment” after having considered incidents that took place prior to Mr. Meredith’s resignation from the Senate.
- Read the Ethics and Conflict of Interest Code for Senators.
- Learn more about the Honourable Louise Otis (third-party website).
For more information:
Public Relations Officer | Senate of Canada
613-614-1180 | firstname.lastname@example.org