To the editor:
Conservative Senator Lynn Beyak has made ignorant and offensive comments about residential schools and Indigenous peoples for the second time this year and seemingly without any real consequence. While the Conservatives said Senator Beyak has "no role in their caucus," they have taken no meaningful action to remove her from the party. Is the door open so that she can slide back into a position of power when media attention is diverted?
It would appear that her claim (a claim hurtful to residential school survivors and their families) that residential schools 'did some good,' finds resonance within the Conservative Party because they have delivered only a small slap on the wrist. It must be emphasized that the abuse suffered has been well documented by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Shocking too are the untrue and damaging falsehoods about Indigenous people. Her suggestion that indigenous people give up their status smacks of privilege and ignorance about the rights of indigenous people in this country. "Trade your status card for a Canadian citizenship, with a fair and negotiated payout to each Indigenous man, woman and child in Canada, to settle all the outstanding land claims and treaties, and move forward together just like the leaders already do in Ottawa," she said in an open letter on her Senate website in September. Indigenous people born in this country are Canadian citizens, and were given full voting rights in 1960.
The Conservative Party should do the right thing and boot her out of the party.
Others who agree can speak out at www.leadnow.ca/beyak
Patricia Walker Bishop,