POLITICS
03/19/2019 21:59 EDT | Updated 03/19/2019 21:59 EDT

Sen. Lynn Beyak Broke Code Of Conduct By Posting Racist Letters: Ethics Officer

The letters supported a speech in which Beyak argued that Indian residential schools did a lot of good for Indigenous children.

Sean Kilpatrick/CP
A picture of Senator Lynn Beyak accompanies other Senators official portraits on a display outside the Senate on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Sept. 21, 2017.

OTTAWA — The Senate's ethics officer says Sen. Lynn Beyak violated the upper chamber's conflict-of-interest code by posting racist letters about Indigenous people on her website.

Pierre Legault says Beyak's conduct did not uphold the highest standards of dignity required of a senator.

Nor did she perform her duties with dignity, honour and integrity or refrain from acting in a way that could reflect negatively on the Senate, as stipulated in the code.

Legault says he proposed that Beyak delete the racist letters from her website, post a formal apology and complete a cultural-sensitivity course with an emphasis on Indigenous issues, but she hasn't done any of those things.

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Beyak posted the letters to show that she had support for a speech she gave in the Senate in January 2018, in which she argued that Indian residential schools did a lot of good for Indigenous children, although many suffered physical and sexual abuse and thousands died from disease and malnutrition.

In a report released Tuesday, Legault concludes that five of the letters contained racist content, suggesting that Indigenous people are lazy, chronic whiners who are milking the residential-school issue to get government handouts.

Beyak was appointed to the Senate in 2013 by former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper. She was kicked out of the Conservative caucus last year after refusing to remove the letters from her website.

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