Lynn Beyak Suspended Again Over Racist Letters Despite Last-Ditch Apology

Emma Paling

Sen. Lynn Beyak will be suspended again from the upper chamber while she attempts, for a second time, to complete anti-racism training. 

Senators voted Thursday to accept an ethics committee report that recommends Beyak be suspended without pay for the rest of the parliamentary session. The vote went through “on division,” which means there is no record of which senators voted against it. 

“The privilege of serving in the Senate is contingent on an understanding that there is no place for racism within the institution,” the committee report says. “Senator Beyak’s actions, or inactions, have cast doubt on the integrity of the institution.”

Beyak was first suspended in May 2019 after she refused to delete racist letters she had posted about Indigenous people from her official Senate website. The letters were in support of her much-maligned position that there were “good things” that happened at residential schools that have been “overshadowed.” The episode saw her removed from the Conservative caucus.

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Beyak was ordered to apologize and undertake anti-racism training. But she failed at both, the latest committee report says. 

Beyak first issued a curt apology in November 2019. 

It read, in its entirety: “The Senate Ethics Officer, in his report of March 19, 2019, found me in breach of section 7.1 and 7.2 of the Code of Ethics and Conflict of Interest for Senators and for that I sincerely apologize to all Senators.”

That apology was “not in the spirit and intent” of the order, the Senate committee report says. 

“While your committee is appreciative of Senator Beyak’s...

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