Thursday, June 18, 2015

Who is this woman? Don't know do we ..... eh?

Good Day Readers:

That's Lyse Ricard the Senate's Ethics Officer. With the recent outbreak of taxpayer financed hooliganism rampant in the Upper Chamber these days you'd never know there was any oversight. Ms Ricard has the credentials but lacks the independent power to conduct investigations. A career public servant she has had stints with the Auditor General's Office, was Deputy Commissioner of the Canada Revenue Agency, as well as, Assistant Auditor General.

Problem is she's kept on a very short leash lacking the independence to decide whether to investigate, how to investigate and most importantly does not have subpoena power over witnesses and records. She can be overruled by a Senate Conflict of Interest Committee to which she reports that oversees the Senate's Internal Code of Conduct such as it is. Said Committee meets in-camera - more needless secrecy over how Senators .... away your hard earned taxpayer dollars.

There is more than enough compelling evidence on Don Meredith in the excellent Toronto Star article (code for they got him by the "short and curlies") such that Ms Ricard should be leapfrogged over and the matter turned directly over to the police with the power to lay charge(s). Why needlessly waste more taxpayer dollars and time?

And to Don Meredith CyberSmokeBlog says, "Don't rely on God better get yourself a good lawyer."

Clare L. Pieuk
Senate Speaker encourages woman who alleges affair to take part in investigation of Senator Don Meredith

Controversial senator booted from Conservative caucus and referred to Senate ethics officer after Toronto Star report of sexual relationship with 16-year-old girl

By Joanna Smith Ottawa Bureau Reporter
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Senator Don Meridith faces a probe from the Senate ethics officer after a Star report of a sexual relationship with a teenaged girl. (Christopher Pike/Toronto Star)

OTTAWA—Senate Speaker Leo Housakos is encouraging the young woman who told the Star she had a two-year sexual relationship with Sen. Don Meredith to take part in an ongoing investigation into allegations of workplace harassment.
“She can easily come forward and take part in this process that we are doing here internally at the Senate and we can ensure her confidentiality if that is what she wishes,” Housakos, a Conservative, told the Star in an interview Thursday.
“What’s important for us is to get to the bottom of this issue. This is behaviour that we don’t condone at the Senate of Canada and this is behaviour that Canadians don’t condone in the workplace or anywhere across the country,” Housakos said.
The Star published a story Wednesday night based on allegations from a woman who said she had a two-year romantic relationship with the 50-year-old Pentecostal pastor that began when she was 16 years old, which she says included intercourse twice after she turned 18.
The woman did not work for Meredith.
Meredith, who was booted from the Conservative caucus soon after the story appeared online, has not responded to repeated requests for comment.
Senator Don Meredith who is under investigation for workplace sexual harassment is facing a new allegation that he had a sexual relationship with a teenager during the past two years. The Star's Kevin Donovan explains.

Sources told the Star that Meredith did not inform the Prime Minister’s Office or Senate leadership about the allegations before the story was published, with one source saying Prime Minister Stephen Harper was “deeply troubled” by it.
Housakos, who described his reaction to the news as “one of shock,” referred the matter to the Senate ethics officer, Lyse Ricard, Thursday morning for a preliminary review to determine whether she should launch an inquiry under the Ethics and Conflict of Interest Code for Senators.
“The conduct described in this news report is in and of itself incompatible with the position of Senator. It also suggests that Senator Meredith may have improperly used his position of trust and authority as a Senator . . . This conduct, if proven, constitutes in my opinion a conduct unbecoming a Senator which calls for disciplinary sanctions to be imposed,” Housakos wrote in the letter, to which he attached a copy of the story by Star investigative reporter Kevin Donovan.
Housakos said the allegations would constitute a breach of Section 7.1 Ethics and Conflict of Interest Code for Senators, which states:
“A Senator’s conduct shall uphold the highest standards of dignity inherent to the position of Senator (and) a Senator shall refrain from acting in a way that could reflect adversely on the position of Senator or the institution of the Senate.”
If Ricard decides to launch an inquiry, and that inquiry determines Meredith to have breached the Code, the Senate could then decide to impose any number of possible sanctions, ranging from inviting — or ordering — him to apologize, to suspending him from the Senate.
“I’ve expressed already my wish that this is given the highest priority,” Housakos said in the interview.
As CTV News first reported last week, the Senate is conducting an investigation of Meredith over “allegations of workplace and sexual harassment and bullying,” with four former female employees, as well as four other Senate staffers, alleging “he made sexual advances, used sexual innuendo, and was often rude and vindictive.”
Housakos would not comment on the details of those allegations Thursday, but confirmed the Senate began a “workplace assessment” in February after his predecessor, the late Pierre-Claude Nolin, noticed unusually high staff turnover in Meredith’s office and several people came forward with complaints about him.
“They did not want to file a formal complaint, but had expressed (concerns about) some behaviour that they thought was inappropriate,” Housakos said.
The Senate hired an independent firm to conduct the assessment along with Senate human resources and that they have been interviewing “a number of people that worked directly and indirectly with the senator’s office” and have “taken steps to interview all current and previous employees,” Housakos said.
“We’ve been impatiently waiting for the results,” said Housakos, who expects to receive the report by the first week of the July.
Many senators were angered by the allegations that once again shone a negative light on the embattled institution that is already grappling with the results of a damning audit into expenses and the ongoing criminal trial of suspended Sen. Mike Duffy.
“I only have one word: revolting,” Conservative Senator Marjory LeBreton told reporters on her way into the Senate chamber on Thursday afternoon.
Others urged Meredith to resign immediately.
“I’m disgusted,” said Conservative Sen. Vern White, a former Mountie who also served as Ottawa police chief.
“Absolutely, he should step down,” White said.
“If he’s not good enough for the Conservative caucus, then he’s not good enough for the Senate of Canada,” said Senator Jim Munson, a member of the Senate Liberal caucus.
His caucus colleague Senator Mobina Jaffer commended the Senate leadership for quickly referring the allegation to the senate ethics office.
“They’ve done everything correct. Now we have to wait and have due process take place,” Jaffer said.

With files from Bruce Campion-Smith


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