OTTAWA — The Senate of Canada will pay nearly half a million dollars in compensation to nine employees of a now-resigned senator who say they suffered harassment, including sexual harassment, on the job.
The decision last week to award $498,000 in compensation plus legal fees comes more than a year after a Senate investigation found a pattern of inappropriate behaviour by former senator Don Meredith.
That included demeaning, belittling and humiliating staff members as well as kissing, touching and intimidation that created what the Senate ethics investigator described as a “poisoned work environment.”
But it was only this summer that a former Quebec appeals court judge was brought in to look at potential compensation for the employees following complaints about a lack of recognition of their suffering.
The Senate says the amiount of compensation was based on Justice Louise Otis’s recommendations.
Meredith was appointed to the Senate in 2010 on the advice of former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper. The Jamaica-born senator resigned in 2017 following a separate investigation and subsequent recommendations by the Senate’s ethics committee that he be expelled for using his position to pursue a sexual relationship with a teenager.
He has not faced any criminal charges.