Senator Don Meredith kicked out of Conservative caucus
Ottawa teenager went to Toronto Star with allegation of two-year affair that began when she was 16
Don Meredith, appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2010, has been kicked out of the Conservative caucus, CBC News has confirmed.
"Senator Meredith is no longer a member of the caucus," Stephen Lecce, a spokesman for Harper, said late Wednesday night.
The development comes as the Toronto Star reported Wednesday night that an 18-year-old woman alleged she had an inappropriate sexual relationship with Meredith, which began when she was 16.
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The teen told the Star the relationship began with chats online that became suggestive in nature, and progressed to include sexual intimacy, including intercourse after she turned 18.
The Criminal Code defines the age of consent in Canada as 18 if sexual activity occurs in a relationship of authority, trust or dependency.
Senators arriving for morning meetings on Parliament Hill expressed shock and dismay.
Liberal Sen. Jim Munson says he was at a loss for words after reading the report. He says there are likely to be formal and informal discussions about whether the Senate can and should act on the latest allegations of personal misconduct.
Meredith, 50, is an ordained minister at a Pentecostal church in Vaughan, Ont. He ran unsuccessfully for the Tories in Toronto Centre in a 2008 byelection.
The Senate confirmed last week it had undertaken a workplace review in February amid rumours of harassment and bullying in Meredith's office. No formal complaint was made.
The concerns related to at least four employees.
With files from The Canadian Press