Ontario-based Sen. Lynn Beyak has been suspended from the Senate after failing to remove letters about Indigenous People, determined to be racist by the ethics commissioner, from her website.
Beyak has been suspended without pay for the duration of the current Parliament.
Last week, the ethics commissioner recommended the senator’s suspension and recommended that Beyak attend educational programs at her own expense regarding racism towards Indigenous People in Canada.
Ethics officer Pierre Legault concluded in March that five of the letters contained racist content, suggesting that Indigenous People are lazy, and chronic whiners who are milking the residential schools issue to get government handouts.
In its fifth report, the Standing Committee on Ethics and Conflict of Interest also recommends that the Senate administration be directed to remove the letters from her website, that Beyak receive a full briefing by the clerk of the senate regarding her roles and responsibilities as a senator and that she apologize to the senate.
The controversy first came to light after Beyak published over 100 “letters of support” on her senate website, with many containing offensive language towards Indigenous Peoples.
Beyak has insisted that the letters, which were posted in response to a 2018 speech in which she argued that residential schools did a lot of good for Indigenous children, are not racist.
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Beyak was appointed to the Senate in 2013 by former prime minister Stephen Harper. She was kicked out of the Conservative caucus last year over her refusal to remove the letters from her website.
She’ll be able to resume sitting as a senator when a new session begins the following Oct. 21.
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–With files from the Canadian Press.
More to come.