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

VIDEO: Langley Coldest Night walk does well despite snow

Walk for homeless likely to acheive financial goal despite poor weather, organizer says

VIDEO: Snow Day in the Langleys

Digging out after heavy snowfall

Black Wolves stun Stealth late

Vancouver never trailed until New England pots OT winner at Langley Events Centre

Spartans tame WolfPack, through to semifinals

Trinity Western wins best-of-three series after back-to-back wins at Langley Events Centre

‘Acoustic Ninja’ comes to Fort Langley

Trace Bundy bringing astonishing guitar skills to Chief Sepass Theatre on March 3

President praises nearly 1,800 volunteers at B.C. Games

Ashley Wadhwani sits down with the Kamloops 2018 B.C. Winter Games President Niki Remesz

The way government learn someone has died is getting a digital overhaul

Governments in Canada turned to private consultants 2 years ago to offer blueprint

Bobsleigh team misses Olympic medal finish

Canadian team finishes four-man event 0.84 seconds behind first place, 0.31 seconds from podium

B.C. Games: Athletes talk Team Canada at PyeongChang 2018

From Andi Naudie to Evan McEachran there’s an Olympian for every athlete to look up to

Snowboarders sliding into fresh territory at B.C. Games

Athletes hit the slopes for first appearance as an event at the B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops

Cariboo woman raises funds for Seizure Investigation Unit beds at VGH

VGH Foundation gets VCH approval to begin fundraising for SIU beds; local efforts are paying off

Looking back at the 1979 B.C. Games: Good memories, even better jackets

39 years later, Kamloops is hosting the Winter Games again, with some volunteers returning

OLYMPICS 101: Oldest and youngest Canadians to reach the podium

This year, Canada sent its most athletes in Winter Games history, here’s a look at record breakers

BCHL Today: Cowichan Caps play spoiler and Nanaimo wins 10th straight game

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Most Read