Sen. Lynn Beyak removed from Tory caucus over ‘racist’ post on website

Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer made the announcement Thursday

Sen. Lynn Beyak, who famously declared “some good” came out of Canada’s residential schools, was removed from the Conservative Party caucus after refusing to remove a “racist” comment from her website, Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer said Thursday .

Scheer said in a statement that he had learned on Tuesday that Beyak had posted approximately 100 letters from Canadians in support of her position on residential schools to her Parliamentary website.

He said the vast majority of letters focused on the history of residential schools, while others contained comments about Indigenous Canadians in general.

The Conservative leader said he had asked Beyak to remove one of the letters that suggested Indigenous People want to get things for “no effort” and she refused, resulting in her removal from caucus.

“Promoting this comment is offensive and unacceptable for a Conservative Parliamentarian. To suggest that Indigenous Canadians are lazy compared to other Canadians, is simply racist,” he said.

“As a result of her actions, Conservative Senate Leader Larry Smith and I have removed Sen. Lynn Beyak from the Conservative National Caucus. Racism will not be tolerated in the Conservative caucus or Conservative Party of Canada,” Scheer said.

In was in March 2017 that Beyak suggested residential schools were not all bad.

“I speak partly for the record, but mostly in memory of the kindly and well-intentioned men and women and their descendants — perhaps some of us here in this chamber — whose remarkable works, good deeds and historical tales in the residential schools go unacknowledged for the most part and are overshadowed by negative reports,’ Beyak said.

That led to a chorus of calls for Beyak to step down from the committee.

Indigenous leaders in Manitoba and northern Ontario were unequivocal in calling for Beyak to quit.

“Her unparalleled praise of residential schools and smears of all First Nation leaders is not acceptable,” said Sheila North Wilson, a grand chief of an organization representing First Nations in northern Manitoba.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler called Beyak’s comments a national insult and unacceptable coming from a member of the Senate.

And, in an open letter to Beyak, the Anglican Church of Canada said that whatever good may have taken place, “the overall view is grim. It is shadowed and dark; it is sad and shameful.”

Beyak, who was appointed to the Senate by former prime minister Stephen Harper in 2013, was expelled from the Senate’s committee on Aboriginal Peoples about a month later by former party leader Rona Ambrose.

But last September, Beyak issued a letter calling for First Nations people to give up their status cards in exchange for a one-time cash payment and said they could then practise their culture “on their own dime.”

Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission spent six years examining the legacy of the government-funded, church-operated schools, infamous hotbeds of abuse and mistreatment that operated from the 1870s to 1996.

The result was the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, which was reached after residential school survivors took the federal government and churches to court with the support of the Assembly of First Nations and Inuit organizations.

It was designed to help repair the lasting damage caused by the schools, and — in addition to compensating survivors — to explore the truth behind the program.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Hang glider pilot rescued from Pincushion Mountain

Pilot was able to help guide rescue crews to her location

Town of Oliver receives award for annual financial report

The town’s finance department is being honoured by the GFOA

Penticton Hospital Auxiliary donates to mental health

Canadian Mental Health Association received a $1,000 donation from the Penticton Hospital Auxiliary

Balmy winter forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap

El Niño is anticipated to develop later this winter

Grants for Okanagan youth initiatives available

Project funding of up to $2,000 available for the South and Central Okanagan

Video: New Penticton studio is a playground for creative types

We toured Penticton’s newest creator space

Razor burn: Gillette ad stirs online uproar

A Gillette ad for men invoking the .MeToo movement is sparking intense online backlash

Hang glider pilot rescued from Pincushion Mountain

Pilot was able to help guide rescue crews to her location

Thompson Okanagan potential hot spot for lung-cancer-causing gas

Kelowna public forum addresses excessive radon radiation exposure dangers

Feds poised to bolster RCMP accountability with external watchdog

Long-anticipated move is the latest attempt at rebuilding the force following years of sagging morale

Canada needs a digital ID system, bankers association says

The Department of Finance last week officially launched its public consultation on the merits of open banking

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Most Read