OTTAWA â€” The head of the Senate’s ethics committee says all options are on the table when it comes to possible punishments for Sen. Don Meredith over his sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl.
Sen. Raynell Andreychuk calls the case complicated, and one that requires the committee to consider the impact of its final decision on Meredith, other senators, the public as well as how it will effect the reputation of the Senate.
The five-member body has yet to make a final decision. Andreychuk, a Conservative senator from Saskatchewan, didn’t say when a final decision would be made.
Meredith testified today in front of the ethics committee about a damning report that concluded Meredith abused his position as senator when he had a sexual relationship with a teenager.
Meredith left the room after about an hour of testimony, walking out a side door and refusing to talk to reporters.
No one involved in the meeting would discuss details, citing committee confidentiality rules.
Bill Trudell, Meredith’s lawyer, said he believes Meredith may have to meet with the committee again, or file more documents, given the complexity of the arguments and some unanswered questions arising from the meeting.
Trudell urged both senators and the public not to prejudge the outcome of the hearings and respect the process as it unfolds.
Meredith’s closed-door testimony is part of a process the committee must go through before it can recommend what, if any, punishments Meredith should face.
Independent Sen. Andre Pratte says Meredith should be expelled from the Senate because his actions don’t befit the office of senator.
Sen. Anne Cools, another independent senator, calls Meredith’s action a private matter and says the Senate shouldn’t be policing the personal lives of its members.
The Senate has never expelled one of its own and there is a divide within the chamber about whether it has the power to do so.
The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version described Pratte and Cools as independent Liberals.