Remove Lynn Beyak From The Senate

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To The Senate of Canada:

We, the undersigned, urge you to support Senator Mary Jane McCallum’s motion to permanently remove Senator Lynn Beyak from the Senate and clearly condemn her racist statements and behaviour.

In a 2017 speech to the Senate, Senator Beyak described instructors at residential schools as “well-intentioned” and criticized the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for not "focusing on the good" coming out of the residential school system.


She subsequently posted statements on her website, which the Senate Ethics Committee described as racist in its Consideration of an Inquiry Report from the Senate Ethics Officer (“Fifth Report”). The Senate Ethics Officer determined these statements were in contravention of sections 7.1 and 7.2 of the Ethics and Conflict of Interest Code for Senators, and further stated that Senator Beyak had failed to uphold the highest standards of dignity inherent to the position of senator; had acted in a way that could reflect adversely on the position of senator and the institution of the Senate; and had performed a parliamentary function in a manner that was both undignified and dishonourable.


Senator Beyak blatantly refused to undertake in a meaningful manner the anti-racism training she was mandated to engage in, and was, in fact, asked to leave after the first day of training because her "inflexibility and conduct made the learning environment unsafe" (“Lynn Beyak claimed she was Métis during her anti-racism training sessions”, CBC, Feb 3, 2020).


Her continued presence in the Chamber is an insult to survivors of the Indian Residential School system, their families, their communities, and their ancestors. It is also a signal to Canadians everywhere who have experienced racism that their experiences are not believed or valued in the Senate.


We say, “no more!” Although Beyak was removed from caucus and temporarily suspended in April 2019, and again in January 2020, her continued racist behaviour and refusal to seriously engage with the issues at hand demonstrates that she has not grown, and that she is unwilling to learn.


It is imperative that the Senate of Canada speak out clearly against systemic racism, and against the specific racist statements and actions of Senator Beyak. To do otherwise sends a message to all Canadians that systemic racism will continue to be tolerated--indeed will be perpetuated--in one of the highest bodies of this country.


We stand with Senator Mary Jane McCallum’s motion and urge the Senate to permanently remove Lynn Beyak.