Only 36 days day left. Please donate!

National Observer must raise $90,000 by Dec. 31 to pay for urgent investigative journalism.
Goal: 90,000

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.

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.

Keep reading

Finally. Lynn Beyak will not be missed. Lynn Beyak is using victim blaming and shaming in her comments. There was no good in either the residential school system or the 60's scoop. Lynn Beyak has no understanding of the role Canada played in the cultural genocide perpetrated on First Nations. None. Her wilful ignorance is frightening. She pays no heed to the devastation of First Nations peoples through the kidnapping of children by the Canadian Government, the physical, sexual, psychological, societal abuse is a horrendous dark history in a country proud of its commitment to fairness. Until Canadians accept the responsibilities for this 'war' on First Nations, we have no claim to being a a gentle, peace loving, tolerant society, all well worn cliches masking problems with Canadian society like the racism Lynn Beyak represents. Our view of ourselves is really not justified. Being polite and respectful, law abiding, orderly society also has a dark side we often forget: passive, uncritical of authority figures, afraid of controversial opinion, afraid of standing up for those who are bullied unless we serve our view of self interest. We sometimes do better than this. Now is the time to stand with First Nations fighting for their inalienable rights. Bill Eadie (Nanaimo)