It was with satisfaction that I heard last week, Senator Lynn Beyak has been kicked out of the Conservative caucus for refusing to remove a “racist” comment on her website.
Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer made the announcement on Jan. 4:
“As a result of her actions, Conservative Senate Leader Larry Smith and I have removed Sen. Lynn Beyak from the Conservative National Caucus,” says a report on the CTV News website. “Racism will not be tolerated in the Conservative caucus or Conservative Party of Canada.”
Also found on the CTV News website, this was because Scheer had asked Beyak to remove one letter from her website, which suggested indigenous people want to get things for “no effort.” She refused and this was the reason for her removal from the Conservative 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.
Certainly, Scheer is justified in his course of action with Beyak. It could have been done even sooner, especially given the most notorious public statement she made in March 2017 – that some “good deeds” came out of the residential school system:
“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.”
It is absolutely appalling for Beyak to suggest some “good deeds” came out of the residential school system.
Beyak seems oblivious to what the true and ultimate aim of that institution was – the complete cultural genocide of First Nations people.
In and of itself, that is the ultimate expression of racism by one group against another.
How does stripping First Nations peoples of their cultures, languages, religous relics and icons entail a “good deed” in Beyak’s estimation?
There’s also the sexual abuse that was overlooked and condoned, for generations, within the residential school system. The psychological damage that many First Nations people suffered, and continue to suffer, from sexual abuse can in no way be minimized or explained away.
But most tragic of all, was the dysfunctionality of the family unit that resulted for First Nations people. Parents being unable to provide love and care for their children, because they themselves were scarred by the residential school system as children, initiated a cycle of trauma, substance abuse and other problems that continue to this day.
These are the overarching and very dark elements that resulted from the residential school system. So, Beyak cannot offer any justified defence of that dark chapter in Canadian history.