The Senate changes the rules in the process involving the victims of Meredith

Le Sénat modifie les règles dans le processus impliquant les victimes de Meredith

Le Sénat modifie les règles dans le processus impliquant les victimes de Meredith

Don Meredith

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August 6, 2020 20h31

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The Senate changes the rules in the process involving the victims of Meredith

The canadian Press

The Senate has agreed to allow the victims of harassment of the ex-senator Don Meredith to be accompanied by a lawyer when they need to respond to the evaluator’s independent authority to determine what compensation might be paid to them.

This is a partial recoil in the rules laid down by the upper house. A change that occurs two days after two former employees of Don Meredith were entrusted to The Canadian Press, calling the process “totally unacceptable”.

The two women said, Tuesday, that they felt intimidated by the Senate for them to accept to participate in a compensation process that they believe is unfair, and opaque.

These women have not been named publicly and spoke under cover of anonymity to protect their privacy as victims of harassment and abuse.

Among their complaints, they have criticized the inability of a lawyer to assist them in their exchanges with the evaluator independent, the former judge of the Quebec Court of appeal Louise Otis, under the pretext that it is not a trial or a judicial hearing.

Le Sénat modifie les règles dans le processus impliquant les victimes de Meredith

Louise Otis

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They were also informed, in a letter sent by the lawyer of the Senate, that any expense has been incurred from a lawyer to get advice in the preparation of their testimony would be made at their expense.

In a statement released Thursday, the powerful standing Committee on internal economy, budgets and administration of the Senate says it wants to provide “additional information regarding the evaluation process”.

The report states that “participants in the process may be accompanied by a legal adviser” and that the assessor “may recommend to the Senate to compensate the participants for their legal costs”.

The former justice Louise Otis was appointed to discuss with the six former employees from the office of senator Meredith, and to examine all documents of two previous investigations on his conduct, including one completed a year ago by the senate ethics officer.

This investigation has revealed that Mr. Meredith had repeatedly harassed, threatened and intimidated his staff and touched, kissed and made proposals several times to some employees.

Don Meredith, who had been appointed by former prime minister Stephen Harper in 2010, resigned in 2017 after a separate investigation led to a recommendation of internal according to which he would be expelled for a sexual relationship he had with a teenage girl.

He has faced no criminal charges.

Le Soleil

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