- FULL STATEMENT -
OTTAWA - Former Senator Beyak's resignation is a positive event for the Senate and for Canadians, who deserve responsible and honourable conduct from public office holders. I personally believe in offering people opportunities to learn and to change, particularly if they learned racist beliefs at a young age.
However, her statement of resignation emphasizes "good" aspects of residential schools, despite their purpose of eliminating Indigenous cultures from Canada, and the serious physical, mental and emotional harm they have done. She continues to selectively refer to words of a few survivors who may not themselves have been physically harmed, but who clearly do not, and may never, fathom how they themselves have been affected by the schools. Her words contradict her own apology delivered on the Senate floor, and her expressions of understanding she made to the team asked to provide her with teaching opportunities about the schools. That team was appointed by the Senate Ethics Officer, and accepted by the Senate Ethics Committee.
Clearly, as many had suspected, she was hiding her true thoughts and feelings all along. This suggests to me that she is not only continuing to be unwilling to learn, but that she will continue to espouse her racist views going forward. Her attitude is harmful and dangerous, and I am glad that she will no longer be able to express those views in Parliament.
See also CBC News
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