Tories questioned on why they did not boot Beyak from caucus sooner

Lynn Beyak told Senate that schools where Indigenous children endured abuse were not all bad

The Conservative party is being asked why it failed to oust Senator Lynn Beyak (BAY’-ak) from its caucus sooner, despite repeated calls from Indigenous leaders.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer issued a statement late Thursday saying Beyak no longer had a role in the caucus after she posted letters from supporters on her website, including one that Scheer called racist.

Beyak could not be reached for comment following Scheer’s decision.

Emails to Beyak’s office have gone unanswered and the voicemail box at her Senate office is full.

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett says the government finds it disappointing that Conservative leadership allowed Beyak to use her position to espouse her “ill-informed and offensive views” of history.

Last year, Scheer was urged by a number of Indigenous leaders, including Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde, to remove Beyak from caucus following remarks she made that praised Canada’s residential schools.

She told the Senate that schools where Indigenous children endured widespread sexual and physical abuse were not all bad.

The N-D-P want Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to use his influence to get Beyak kicked out of the Senate.

The Canadian Press

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