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Senator Don Meredith referred to ethics officer after reports of affair with teen

06/18/2015 11:21 EDT | Updated 06/18/2016 05:59 EDT
Senator Don Meredith, already under review and no longer a part of the Conservative caucus, faces a fresh investigation over allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a young woman that began when she was a teen. 

Senate government leader Claude Carignan said in a news release Thursday morning that the matter "will be referred to the Senate ethics officer."

The statement adds: "Senator Carignan is deeply concerned by the serious nature of the allegations against Senator Meredith." 

Meredith was ousted from the Conservative caucus Wednesday night, which was confirmed shortly after the Toronto Star reported that an 18-year-old woman alleged she had an inappropriate sexual relationship with Meredith that began when she was 16.

The teen told the Star that 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.

The 50-year-old senator has been embroiled in controversy as of late.

An independent workplace assessment is underway after rumours of harassment and bullying in Meredith's office that concern at least four employees. 

The Senate initiated the review in February, prompted by a high staff turnover rate. 

An outside firm is investigating and is expected to report back to the Senate's steering committee on internal economy, budgets and administration next week.

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