Tory senator Lynn Beyak has put her foot in her mouth for a second commenting about aboriginals.
Her journey into politically incorrectness began earlier this year when she said there was some positive things that came out of the residential school system. She was immediately attacked, but battled back adding that the silent majority of Canadians support her. Now she has made another off-coloured remark that aboriginals should turn in their status card for a citizenship certificate.
Carolyn Bennett the minister for Crown – Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs calls her latest suggestion simply offensive. Adding she is deeply disappointed in the Ontario senator as she continues to voice uninformed thoughts about Canada’s Indigenous population. The comment was made on Beyak’s senate website.
Beyak wrote that none of us are leaving so we should stop the guilt and blame and find a way to live together. Aboriginal leaders says if that is the senators goal, living together, she is taking the wrong tact to accomplish that goal. It was pointed out to Beyak that aboriginals born in Canada are citizens. Beyak notes in her posting that all Canadian are free to preserve their culture in their communities, on their own time and on their own dime. She said a decision by the government to split Indigenous Affairs into two new departments prompted her latest comment.
“Our ancestors, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike, did the best they could with the tools they had. It was a different era with unique challenges. Like us, they were imperfect human beings, working together for the betterment of all. Who are we to judge on today’s standards? Sir John A. Macdonald’s role in the founding of Canada is significant. There is no need for a divisive debate on monuments and statues, or buildings and bridges, when valuable tax dollars could be used to provide clean water and decent housing instead,” reads her post.
Bennett says she believes it’s time for Beyak to sit down with residential school survivors and listen to their experiences. They have a great deal to teach her.
For her first comment, Beyak was booted from the Senate Committee on Aboriginal People. This time around senator Larry Smith said the conservative caucus is not on side with her beliefs and there are discussions underway that could see her kicked out of caucus, but won’t clarify just what might happen to her.