Ottawa, Ontario                                                             February 18, 2020


Media Release

Discrimination Against Conservative Senator Lynn Beyak

The Senate Ethics Committee recommended on January 31, 2020 that Senator Lynn Beyak be again suspended from the Senate. She was previously suspended without pay for several months during the last Parliament.

Senator Beyak’s offence was that she had publicly stated that some Indigenous people had a positive experience in residential schools. She also published letters on Indigenous matters that had also been readily available in the public domain. These letters expressed the view of many Canadians that the government’s approach was unhelpful because these costly programs continued to allow Indigenous people to live on reserves in appalling conditions without hope or incentive.

It was alleged, nonetheless, that these letters were discriminatory and racist.

After her first suspension, Senator Beyak removed the letters from her website as requested. If these letters were so offensive, as determined by Senate Ethics Commissioner, Pierre Legault, why then have the identical letters been posted on his office’s website since March, 2019?

It would appear that Senator Beyak has been deliberately set up for a fall because of her speaking out against the politically correct interpretation of Indigenous affairs. This has occurred even though there is abundant evidence that the current Liberal government has not alleviated the ongoing problems.

This framing of Senator Beyak is evidenced by the following facts:

  • The four Senators (three female and one male) who laid the initial complaints against Senator Beyak were all appointed by Justin Trudeau on the same date, March 18, 2016. Their complaints seem not to have been spontaneous, but well-coordinated, in that they were laid together in just over a two week period. These four Senators are designated as “independent” senators, but in fact, without exception, are all left-leaning progressives who support the Liberal’s policies on Indigenous affairs.
  • One of the conditions of Senator Beyak’s initial suspension was that she was required to take a course provided by the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC) to provide her with “cultural competency training”. This organization is federally funded. It received $5,392,532 in 2018 and $6,887,903 in 2019. It is mandated “To serve the needs of urban Indigenous people”. The course provides three training cycles. Senator Beyak took and successfully completed cycle one of the training on June 6, 2019. Cycles two and three were to take place on August 26 and 27, 2019 at OFIFC’s Toronto office. Senator Beyak, at her own expense, reported to the centre on August 26, where she was told, without explanation, that cycles two and three were no longer available to her. Senator Beyak reported this refusal to provide her with the training to the Ethics Commissioner. He responded by stating he had no explanation or correspondence from OFIFC to his queries in the matter. Senator Beyak did not receive either an apology or explanation from the OFIFC, despite her repeated requests for an explanation.
  • In September 2019, Liberal Senator Peter Harder, the Liberal government’s representative in the Senate, emailed Canadian Press columnist Joan Bryden incorrectly stating, “Senator Beyak has so far refused to follow through on the Senate’s recommendations for remedial measures.” Mr. Harder was appointed by Trudeau to lead his transition team in 2015, and was a senior bureaucrat in previous Liberal governments. On September 24, 2019, Ms. Bryden wrote in her column the false statement that “Senator Beyak refused to take sensitivity training.”
  • The interim chair of the Ethics Committee is aboriginal senator, Murray Sinclair. He was Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which issued its report in 2015. Senator Beyak’s opinion on indigenous affairs contradicts in some aspects the TRC report. Senator Murray did not recuse himself from the Ethics Committee when it recommended that Senator Beyak be suspended from the Senate for the second time.

No member of the so-called “Laurentian Consensus” (which consists of the media, bureaucrats, left-wing university professors and NGOs located within the “progressive” eastern Canadian cities of Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa) has protested this treatment of Senator Beyak or the infringement of her Charter right to free speech. Neither has Senator Beyak received an explanation or apology from OFIFC for their inexplicable conduct. Similarly, no concern has been expressed by any female Senators, (including the three of the four complainants) about the apparent discrimination against another woman. It is apparently not sufficient that Senator Beyak is a woman, but she must also be politically correct before she warrants such support.

It may be possible that there has been a misunderstanding or miscommunication. However, facts indicate that Senator Beyak is being punished for her failure to cooperate with the Liberal’s policies on Indigenous people by taking an independent and diverse position on the issue.

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For further information contact:

Pauline Guzik
National President
REAL Women of Canada

Cathy Smith
Western Canada Board Member
REAL Women of Canada

(613) 236-4001