JustinTrudeau, #Canada, #Senate'sEthicsOfficer, #EthicalStandards
NDP's democratic MP had been asking Trudeau to compel the Senate to strengthen its disciplinary rules concerning a report about Senator Don Meredith’s sexual relationship with a teenager, media reports said March 16.
But Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau distanced himself from the Senate and established an independent advisory board to make recommendations on senatorial appointments and said, "It is not for me to weigh in on how the Senate should continue to conduct itself, but of course every politician in Canada, senator or MP … needs to conduct themselves in a way that is worthy of the public trust placed in them," CBCNews reports said.
Although Nathan Cullen, NDP MP objected to his response and said, "He's still the prime minister…because as long as he keeps appointing people…He must lift a finger to make it more accountable and respectful," CBCNews reports said.
“Bad behaviour is inherent in a place where there is no accountability” Cullen said, adding ‘'It's time the Senate implement new rules for the removal of senators who have violated ethical standards,” CBCNews reports said.
But in the mean while, prior to Trudeau’s intervention, Red Chamber had got the necessary documents prepared with possible legal actions and if needed to expel Meredith.
Meredith said Ottawa police had already investigated the matter after Meredith admitted that he had sexual intercourse with a teenager on at least one occasion. But Ottawa police had dropped the case without pressing criminal charges.
Meredith was referred to the Senate's ethics officer, Lyse Ricard who claimed Meredith had intercourse three times, including once when the woman was 17 years old.
When asked to comment about the ethics report, Trudeau refused to respond.
In the mean time Peter Harder, Trudeau's representative in the Senate, had publicly called on Meredith to resign, and the possibility of his expulsion.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
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