Canada: Senate Considering Compensation For Alleged Victims Of Don Meredith Is 'Unreal' - - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada Senate Considering Compensation For Alleged Victims Of Don Meredith Is 'Unreal'

16:15  08 november  2019
16:15  08 november  2019 Source:   huffingtonpost.ca

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Independent Senators are now pressing the Senate to provide compensation to the alleged victims of former Senator Don Meredith , who resigned in 2017 amid numerous sexual harassment allegations . But who were the Senators on whose behalf the Senate paid almost million in

Independent senators are pressing the Red Chamber to offer compensation to alleged victims in the case of ex- senator Don Meredith . She said that because Meredith is a Pentecostal minister, many people assumed he was a "man of God" and victims had a hard time convincing others of his alleged

a man in a suit and tie:  Don Meredith leaves a Senate committee in Ottawa on April 4, 2017.© Provided by Oath Inc. Don Meredith leaves a Senate committee in Ottawa on April 4, 2017.

OTTAWA — In a move described as “totally unreal” by an alleged victim, a powerful Senate committee met on Thursday to discuss possible compensation for staffers who reported — as far back as 2013 — sexual harassment by former senator Don Meredith.

“They’ll be evaluating how much I deserve while they were the ones imposing the trauma on me. What the f**k is that?” she told HuffPost Canada an interview. “As of today … we never received one phone call from anyone from the institution asking us, ‘Do you need help?’ No one.”

The former employee, whose testimony was deemed credible and reliable in an investigation by the Senate Ethics Officer, was in disbelief that senators who ignored her case six years ago are on the same committee discussing potential redress. She spoke about her experience on the condition of anonymity, citing professional and personal concerns.

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Consider contacting a victim assistance program for help. The Victim Service Portal and online claim application will be accessible with the user name and password you create. Who may be eligible for compensation ? The victim must be an innocent victim of the crime.

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In earlier interviews with HuffPost, she alleged that Meredith, who is also a Pentecostal pastor, inappropriately touched her at work.

She said that he used the intimacy of prayer to put his hands on her shoulders before touching her breast and bottom. In other incidents, he locked the office doors and sexually forced himself on her, she claimed.

Report confirmed toxic work environment

A report this summer from Senate Ethics Officer Pierre Legault found that Meredith bullied and threatened his staff, and repeatedly touched, kissed and propositioned some of them. The report outlined the experiences of six former employees and a parliamentary constable.

Independent Sen. Raymonde Saint-Germain told reporters before the meeting of the internal economy, budgets and administration committee (CIBA) that the allegations bring “shame” to the Senate as an employer.

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Victim compensation is a direct financial reimbursement to a victim for an expense that resulted from a crime, such as medical costs or lost wages. Each state has a crime victim compensation program that allocates funds to survivors of sexual assault and other violent crimes.

The injured person (the victim ) or, if that person has died, their immediate family can claim compensation under the scheme. If the victim died of causes unrelated to the criminal injury, the family will not be compensated unless the Tribunal considers that this would cause hardship to the

“If there’s a need for compensation, compensate at the high level, at the needed, required level, the fair level. We need to do that. A fair employer needs to do that,” she said.

High staff turnaround in Meredith’s office the Senate speaker at the time to order a workplace assessment to find out what was going on.

Saint-Germain said people noticed a “great number of employees were changing, were becoming sick, were complaining.” Among them, “young women,” she said.

“And what did the administration do? And the whips at the time? They send other beautiful young girls. There was an issue there.”

a group of people sitting at a table: Independent Sen. Raymonde Saint-Germain speaks at a meeting of the internal economy, budgets and administration committee on Nov. 7, 2019. © Provided by Oath Inc. Independent Sen. Raymonde Saint-Germain speaks at a meeting of the internal economy, budgets and administration committee on Nov. 7, 2019.

Discussion about compensation for former Meredith staffers occurred during the in-camera portion of the CIBA meeting. When it was over, committee members had little to say to reporters about what was said behind closed doors.

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The Crime Victims ’ Compensation (CVC) Program helps crime victims and their immediate families with the financial costs of crime. CVC covers crime-related costs such as counseling, medical treatment, funerals, and loss of income not paid by other sources.

Senator Don Meredith , is pictured in an undated handout photo. Ho/the canadian press. Don Meredith had a sexual relationship with a teenager. The woman alleged that the relationship involved kissing, touching and sexually explicit online chats until she turned 18, after which they had

In early September, the same committee rejected a request from the alleged victims to appear at an in-camera meeting. The women told HuffPost they’re considering filing civil lawsuits against the Senate for failing to protect them.

Committee members now include three Conservative senators who were in leadership positions when the allegations against their caucus colleague Meredith was first flagged. The alleged victims are concerned this is a conflict of interest for senators Claude Carignan, Elizabeth Marshall and Leo Housakos.

a group of people sitting at a table: Members of the Senate's internal economy, budgets and administration committee meet on Nov. 7, 2019.© Provided by Oath Inc. Members of the Senate's internal economy, budgets and administration committee meet on Nov. 7, 2019.

The women think taking their case to court, to be examined by a third party, is the fairest process they’re left with.

Other senators on the committee want to see changes to avoid potential future victims being encumbered with a multi-year inquiry process if they file complaints.

“We should have a kind of process which is not only fair for those who make some allegations but also where we are having a response as an institution that is not hindering the process, but helping the process in assisting,” said Independent Sen. Pierre Dalphond.

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Senator Don Meredith is pictured in an undated handout photo. Ricard ruled that Meredith used his position as senator improperly and that he violated the Senate ’s ethics code. Meredith said Wednesday that he believes he is the victim of racism.

The Victims Compensation Assistance Program helps victims and their families through the emotional and physical aftermath of a crime by easing the financial impact placed upon them by the crime. As a victim of crime, you will always be treated with dignity, compassion, and respect when

The former Supreme Court of Canada clerk said he has concerns raised by the Senate ethics officer about senators “unduly” claiming privilege to obstruct inquiries and forcing delays.

Legault wrote in his report that in 2016, CIBA claimed parliamentary privilege to decline speaking to him for the workplace assessment that contained detailed testimony from several of Meredith’s employees at the time. Because of this, the office had to ask staffers to re-do their testimony.

Another former employee called Meredith a “predator,” and told HuffPost the Senate ethics probe could have been wrapped up as early as 2014 if senators had agreed to be interviewed for the workplace assessment stand. Instead, it stretched on, including a period when the Ottawa police investigated the claims.

It took four years for the Senate ethics office to finish its investigation.

‘Playing field really wasn’t level’

Ross Stewart is an Ottawa-based lawyer representing two women who used to work in Meredith’s office. There’s an “inherent power imbalance” when you’re a staffer working in a senator’s office, he said.

“They were working in an environment where the playing field really wasn’t level,” he said, highlighting inadequate mechanisms to protect employees because of the way the Senate is set up.

“Every senator’s office essentially runs as an independent operation and there’s no effective oversight.”

Stewart said Meredith has the right to respond to the allegations, but that it’s up to senators to work together to eliminate the “secrecy in dealing with it internally and not being transparent” so that confidence can be restored in how the Senate handles workplace harassment.

“The process was flawed,” he said.

Meredith resigned from the Senate in May 2017 over a separate controversy involving the abuse of his position to take advantage of a teenage girl.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost Canada.

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