Everyday thousands of children are being sexually abused. You can stop the abuse of at least one child by simply praying. You can possibly stop the abuse of thousands of children by forwarding the link in First Time Visitor? by email, Twitter or Facebook to every Christian you know. Save a child or lots of children!!!! Do Something, please!

3:15 PM prayer in brief:
Pray for God to stop 1 child from being molested today.
Pray for God to stop 1 child molestation happening now.
Pray for God to rescue 1 child from sexual slavery.
Pray for God to save 1 girl from genital circumcision.
Pray for God to stop 1 girl from becoming a child-bride.
If you have the faith pray for 100 children rather than one.
Give Thanks. There is more to this prayer here

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Meredith Adds More Colour to the Absurdity of the Canadian Senate

Don Meredith says 'Racism has Played a Role' in his Sex Scandal
Senator says he is taking a leave of absence from the Senate
but is not ready to resign seat
The Canadian Press 

Senator Don Meredith says he is not ready to resign from the Senate over his relationship with a teenage girl and is currently considering his options. (CBC)

Embattled Senator Don Meredith begged forgiveness for his "moral failing" over his sexual relationship with a teenager but said Thursday he was not ready to resign.

Speaking out for the first time since a damning ethics report, Meredith told The Canadian Press he was taking a leave of absence from the Senate on the advice of his doctor, and would be considering his options in the coming days and weeks.

"This is a moral failing on my part," a grim-faced Meredith said in a wide-ranging interview, with his wife Michelle quietly at his side. "As a human being, I made a grave error in judgment, in my interactions. For that I am deeply sorry."

Meredith, 52, repeatedly apologized to his wife, children, his fellow senators and "all Canadians" for the relationship that took place with the woman known only as Ms. M.

His wife and children have forgiven him, he said, and he asked for the same forgiveness from his Senate colleagues and Ms. M herself.

"I believe in the power of forgiveness and reconciliation," he said as his Toronto lawyer looked on. "We're humans, and humans make mistakes."

Meredith's wife did not wish to speak publicly about the allegations and the senator refused to answer if he'd had other affairs.

A chorus of voices has called on Meredith to step down amid questions of whether the Senate has the power to force him to do so. Senate sources have said they believe the upper chamber does have the power to expel a senator and declare the seat vacant, and do so by a simple majority vote.

The six-year Ontario senator said he hoped his contrition should be enough to assuage those who have been calling for him to step down. At the same time, he said, he believed there were no legal grounds to fire him.

Grounds for removal?

Meredith's lawyer, Selwyn Pieters, said the Constitution only allows for the removal of someone convicted of a felony, too many missed sessions, bankruptcy or treason.

"Taken at its highest, the allegation against Senator Meredith is a moral failing, it's not a legal failing," Pieters said.

Rules came into effect after Meredith's affair ended

But here’s the catch: The two rules that Mr. Meredith violated only came into effect in June 2016. His contact with the girl began in 2013; had he ended it before June 2016, the Ethics Commissioner might have nothing on him.

The new rules were created in response to the expense scandals that rocked the Senate from late 2012 to 2015. Mike Duffy, Patrick Brazeau, Mac Harb, Pamela Wallin – you remember the names. They were all found by a Senate committee to have claimed illegitimate expenses. Messrs. Harb and Brazeau were charged with criminal offences that were later dropped, while Mr. Duffy was acquitted on several charges in court – including one of bribery for accepting a cheque of more than $90,000 from the chief of staff of then-prime minister Stephen Harper that he used to pay back his expenses.

Under intense public pressure, the Senate suspended Mr. Duffy, Mr. Brazeau and Ms. Wallin for two years. All three are back in the Senate today. Mr. Harb, a former MP, resigned from the Senate in 2013, retiring to a parliamentary pension of $123,000 a year.

The Senate subsequently added its two new rules, in the hope of being able to better discipline members who do not uphold high standards of dignity by, let’s say, pretending to live in one place in order to collect living expenses in another, or whose avarice reflects adversely on the position of senator or the institution of the Senate.

Disgraced Senator Don Meredith's explanation, in his own words:

This is a moral failing on my part towards my family, my wife, my children who support me. And I will go forward from this day. I'll go forward from this incident.

I am currently, on the advice of my doctors, on a medical leave. A report has just come out that has detrimental impact upon me as a human being, my family, as human beings.

I believe that it was my right to consider all options that are available to me and that's exactly what I plan to do, making no rushed depictions or rushed conclusions.

With anyone, any individual, any Canadian, you have to take time to seek counsel, to seek advice, and that's exactly what I'm doing.

To my family, to Ms. M, to my colleagues in the Senate, to all Canadians, I deeply regret this. And I'm deeply sorry. And I apologize from the bottom of my heart, and I ask their forgiveness. And for us to be able to reconcile. Because I believe in reconciliation and forgiveness. Thank you.

Last week, a scathing report from Senate ethics officer Lyse Ricard said Meredith failed to uphold the "highest standards of dignity inherent to the position of senator" and had acted in a way that could damage the Senate itself. Ricard also ruled Meredith had used his position as senator improperly and that he violated the Red Chamber's ethics code.

The report said Meredith had sexual relations with a woman once before she turned 18, and twice after she turned 18, and also had explicit online chats with her. Meredith acknowledged the sexual relations in the report but said it only happened after she turned 18.

'Racism has played a role'

The senator said Wednesday he believes he has been the victim of racism since the allegations about his affair first surfaced in the summer of 2015. Where individuals of colour rise, he said, somehow they're taken down — whether it's "self-inflicted or orchestrated."

"Absolutely, racism has played a role in this," Meredith said. "This is nothing new to me. There is always a double standard that exists in this country."

Pieters said his client was being portrayed as a "sexual predator" because he is an imposing black man — but that clearly was not the case.

Meredith, an ordained minister and father of two, was adamant there was no criminal case against him. While Ms. M has said that she declined to press charges to protect her identity, Meredith called that "hearsay."

"I've broken no laws, and I want all Canadians to understand that."

Is that 'Doctor' Don Meredith?

Two years ago, Senator Meredith used the title Dr. with his name. After a Huffington Post investigation, Meredith said he has an honorary doctorate from an association of Christian counsellors that has no standing as a degree-granting school. He also has a master's degree in religious studies from California State Christian University, an unregulated and unaccredited institution. The school's phone number directs callers to a customer helpline for a website that sells iPads and printers.

His really bad judgement doesn't seem to be restricted to his sexual failings and his violations of his marital oaths. He was a pastor, for Heaven's sake, where is his fear of God?

Report coming

Senate insiders have said they expect the ethics committee to deliver its report on March 28, the first day back from a two-week break. But both Meredith and his lawyer said they he had a right to speak to the report and defend himself as a matter of procedural fairness.

He said he would likely hold a media conference in the next several days.

"I believe that it is my right to consider all options that are available to me and that's exactly what I plan to do, making no rush decisions," he said, adding he wanted time to seek advice. "I deeply regret this."

In a letter this week, New Democrat MP Nathan Cullen accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of "falling short" in bringing accountability to the Senate. Cullen called for new rules on removing senators who violate ethical standards.

Fellow Senator Lillian Dyck says Meredith's actions reflect badly on the Senate and he should consider resigning. 

"Like many other senators, I am really appalled at what he's done. It's an appalling situation," she said. "I can't imagine why he would want to come back to the Senate."

Meanwhile, Meredith picked to represent Canada at Status of Women Conference, seriously!

The convener of the Independent Senators Group is defending her decision to send Don Meredith to the United Nations status of women conference in New York while he was facing questions from the Senate ethics officer about his sexual relationship with a teenage girl.

Senator Elaine McCoy opted to send Meredith and Manitoba Senator Marilou McPhedran, a human rights advocate recently appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as part of the Senate's delegation to the meeting on gender equality. The offer to send Meredith was rescinded after Conservative senators raised red flags about McCoy's pick.