APTN National News
The mayor of Winnipeg says a statement released by Conservative Senator Lynn Beyak is “deeply offensive” and “terribly damaging to reconciliation efforts.”
Brian Bowman was reacting to a statement Beyak posted on Sept. 1, where she defend her previous comments on residential schools, saying many people had shown support for her position.
She also called on First Nations to “trade your status card for a Canadian citizenship, with a fair and negotiated payout to each Indigenous man, woman, and child in Canada, to settle all the outstanding land claims and treaties, and move forward together just like the leaders already do in Ottawa.”
Earlier in the day, on Thursday, Bowman tweeted: “A Canadian Senator s/d know who Canadian Citizens are. #makeitawkward #resign”
When asked during a press conference later in the day if he believes Beyak should resign, Bowman said “of course.”
“I don’t remember a time where a Canadian senator, a member of the Canadian Senate has made comments as damaging to our reconciliation efforts like that,” he said.
“I mean they’re just, they’re terrible and she clearly needs to be better educated and I hope that she gets that education on who Canadian citizens are as well as matters pertaining to our Indigenous community.”
Beyak released another statement on Thursday, once again defending her previous comments.
“What we have been doing is obviously not working, spending billions of dollars annually, yet filthy water and inadequate housing is still a reality on too many reserves,” she said.
Conservative Senate Chair Larry Smith said Wednesday Beyak’s comments don’t reflect the Conservative caucus.
“Accordingly, we have taken additional steps to address Senator Beyak’s ongoing role within our Caucus,” said Smith in a statement.
Beyak has not returned phone calls or responded to emails from APTN.