THUNDER BAY – Northern Ontario Senator Lynn Beyak has crossed a line in the political sand. The controversial Senator has been removed from the Conservative Caucus following postings on the Senate of Canada website.
This move comes following action by the former interim leader of the Conservatives removing the Senator from her positions on committees after statements she made on Indigenous people and residential schools. In September 2017 the Senator posted her views on Indigenous people on her website.
The Leader of the Official Opposition, the Honourable Andrew Scheer issued the following statement: “On Tuesday, January 2, 2018, I learned that Senator Lynn Beyak posted to her Parliamentary website approximately 100 letters from Canadians in support of her position on residential schools.
“While the vast majority of letters focused on the history of residential schools, other letters contained comments about indigenous Canadians in general. One of these comments stated:
“‘I’m no anthropologist but it seems every opportunistic culture, subsistence hunter/gatherers seeks to get what they can for no effort. There is always a clash between industrial/organized farming culture that values effort as opposed to a culture that will sit and wait until the government gives them stuff’.
“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.
“I demanded Senator Beyak remove this content from her website. She refused.
“As a result of her actions, the Conservative Senate Leader Larry Smith and I have removed Senator Lynn Beyak from the Conservative National Caucus. Racism will not be tolerated in the Conservative Caucus or Conservative Party of Canada.”
Senator Beyak has been in political hot water before over her views on Indigenous people and on Residential School. The Senator has claimed freedom of speech in the past as a defense for her views.
New Democrat MP Charlie Angus has stated, “Lynn Beyak is a race-baiter for a marginal racist base. She has no mandate. She wasn’t elected by the Canadian people but she uses the enormous resources of the Senate to act as a well paid political troll. So the question is, does the old boys club of the Senate have her back? Or will they show some spine and boot her out the door. Race baiting has no place being given a public forum that is paid for by Canadian taxpayers.”
Beyak was appointed to the Senate on January 25, 2013, by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to represent the Province of Ontario. The Senator was born on February 18, 1949, she is eligible to sit as a Senator until her 75th birthday.
Ironically, Senator Beyak was on of the first Conservative Senators to support the suspension from the Senate of Senators Duffy, Wallin, and Brazeau over issues related to ethics.