March 20, 2019 11:04 am

Lynn Beyak broke Senate’s code of conduct by posting racist letters online, ethics officer says

A picture of Senator Lynn Beyak accompanies other Senators official portraits on a display outside the Senate on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. The Senate's ethics officer says Sen. Lynn Beyak violated the upper chamber's conflict of interest code by posting racist letters about Indigenous Canadians on her website. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick


OTTAWA – The Senate’s ethics officer says Sen. Lynn Beyak violated the upper chamber’s conflict-of-interest code by posting racist letters about Indigenous people on her website.

Pierre Legault says Beyak’s conduct did not uphold the highest standards of dignity required of a senator. Global News first reported on the letters in January 2018.

“I have concluded that Senator Beyak breached sections 7.1 and 7.2 of the Code in posting 5 letters on her Senate website that contained racist content,” Legault wrote.

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Nor did she perform her duties with dignity, honour and integrity or refrain from acting in a way that could reflect negatively on the Senate, as stipulated in the code.

Legault says he proposed that Beyak delete the racist letters from her website, post a formal apology and complete a cultural-sensitivity course with an emphasis on Indigenous issues, but she hasn’t done any of those things.

READ MORE: Sen. Lynn Beyak publishes ‘outright racist’ comments about Indigenous people on her Senate website

Beyak posted the letters to show that she had support for a speech she gave in the Senate in January 2018, in which she argued that Indian residential schools did a lot of good for Indigenous children, although many suffered physical and sexual abuse and thousands died from disease and malnutrition.

In a report released Tuesday, Legault concludes that five of the letters contained racist content, suggesting that Indigenous people are lazy, chronic whiners who are milking the residential-school issue to get government handouts.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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