OTTAWA — Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer says controversial Sen. Lynn Beyak has been removed from the Conservative Party caucus after refusing to remove a “racist” comment from her website.
Scheer said in a statement Thursday that he learned on Tuesday that Beyak had posted approximately 100 letters from Canadians in support of her position on residential schools to her Parliamentary website.
Beyak was removed from the Senate Aboriginal affairs committee by former party leader Rona Ambrose last spring after she said more good than bad happened at residential schools and that people were focusing too much on the abuse rather than the positive impact the schools had.
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And in September, Beyak issued a letter calling for First Nations people to give up their status cards in exchange for a one-time cash payment and said they could then practise their culture “on their own dime.”
Scheer said the vast majority of letters focused on the history of residential schools, while others contained comments about Indigenous Canadians in general.
But the Conservative leader said he asked Beyak to remove one of the letters that suggested Indigenous People want to get things for “no effort” and she refused, resulting in her removal from 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.
“As a result of her actions, Conservative Senate Leader Larry Smith and I have removed Sen. Lynn Beyak from the Conservative National Caucus. Racism will not be tolerated in the Conservative caucus or Conservative Party of Canada,” Scheer said.