Ethics officer to review harassment allegations against senator
The Speaker of the Senate says the upper chamber’s ethics officer has been asked to look into Sen. Don Meredith over the results of an investigation into how he treated his office staff.
Leo Housakos publicly confirmed in a short statement Thursday morning that Meredith has been told he will undergo an ethics probe.
Housakos says he and other top senators on the Senate’s internal economy committee felt it was “imperative” the investigation results be referred to ethics officer Lyse Ricard.
Depending on the outcome of the latest ethics review, Meredith could face penalties ranging from a forced public apology on the floor of the Senate — which is the punishment for former Conservative Pierre Hugues Boisvenu when he was found last year to have violated the Senate’s ethics code — to suspension without pay.
Sources told The Canadian Press Wednesday night that six former staffers who spoke with outside investigators made allegations of workplace harassment against Meredith, saying he was a bully, rude and unprofessional towards his staff.
There are also allegations of psychological harassment and sometimes making irrational demands of his staff.
The allegations in the investigation report remain unproven and none of the staffers who took part, nor any whose stories are included in the report, wanted to file a formal complaint against Meredith, sources say.
The Senate first ordered the investigation into Meredith’s office in February after top senators, including former Speaker Pierre Claude Nolin, witnessed what they felt was a troubling turnover of staff in Meredith’s office. The Senate’s internal economy committee called in outside investigators to speak with former staffers and Senate human resources officials as well as Meredith himself.