Senator Lynn Beyak Demonstrates Worst of the Senate

Editorial

Canadian Senate
Lynn Beyak is standing by her comments and claiming it is a free speech issue. An empty desk?

THUNDER BAY – Senator Lynn Beyak has refused to remove a number of letters from her Senate of Canada website. Those letters are seen as defamatory and racist against Indigenous Residential School survivors.

The Senator has been asked repeatedly. She has been asked nicely. She has had her fellow Senators ask her to remove those letters.

Lynn Beyak has not done that. She has

The Senate Ethics Committee now is stating that Lynn Beyak who is from Dryden, should be suspended without pay from the Senate for the rest of the current parliamentary session.

Beyak remains steadfast in her refusal. This is a demonstration that the Upper House, the Senate in Canada needs to be reformed.

Traditionally the Senate is appointed, and over the history of the Senate, has been the “retirement home” for political insiders and those seen as party supporters for the Prime Minister of the day.

That is not to suggest there have not been some amazing Senators, there have. But Canada’s upper house remains largely a mystery to most Canadians.

Think of it, name six Senators? Can you?

Despite a number of opportunities to do the right thing, Lynn Beyak is remaining stuck in her thinking that somehow residential school was a good thing for Canada’s Indigenous people.

It was an effort to remove children from their families, take their language and culture away from them, and in many cases subject those children to physical and sexual abuse.

Northwestern Ontario has a growing Indigenous population. In fact, for many communities in our region, it has been the money spent by Indigenous meetings, hockey tournaments, rent paid for offices, spending by First Nations in our major centres that have bolstered the region’s economy. Especially during the economic downturns.

Lynn Beyak through her actions is representing her views, which are increasingly seen by a majority of being out of step with reality.

Perhaps Canada’s Senate by looking to suspend Lynn Beyak is headed in the right direction. But perhaps what really needs to happen is that Lynn Beyak simply resigns from the Senate.

Her responsibility in the Senate isn’t to represent her personal agenda, she is supposed to represent the views and values of her constituents, a growing number of whom have completely rejected her views.

James Murray