OTTAWA – The Senate’s ethics committee is poised to make a final decision about what punishment awaits Sen. Don Meredith over his sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl.
Committee members are meeting behind closed doors today in a bid to finalize a report that will detail their deliberations and conclusions, but any decision won’t be made public until the report is tabled in the Senate.
Committee chair Raynell Andreychuk says she is confident the committee has covered all of its bases, including legal and Senate issues, in its review of Meredith’s actions.
Ethics officer Lyse Ricard concluded last month that Meredith didn’t uphold the “highest standards of dignity inherent to the position of senator” and acted in a way that could damage the Senate itself.
According to Ricard, Meredith began a relationship with the girl when she was just 16; it progressed from flirtatious online chats to fondling and sexually explicit live videos and, eventually, to sexual intercourse – once shortly before the teen turned 18 and twice after.
Meredith has acknowledged the relationship but maintains he only had intercourse with the teen after she turned 18.
He has since apologized publicly for what he called a moral failing but has rejected near-universal calls from fellow senators for his resignation.