Conservative senator under fire for comments on residential schools

Senator slammed for residential school remark

OTTAWA — Conservative MPs are distancing themselves from a senator who suggested this week there were positive aspects to Canada’s former system of residential schools.  

Caucus members surveyed today make it clear do not support or agree with Sen. Lynn Beyak, who was appointed by former Tory prime minister Stephen Harper.

Beyak told the upper chamber Wednesday that the government-funded, church-operated schools where indigenous children endured widespread sexual and physical abuse were not all bad.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett calls the comments unfortunate and misguided, and evidence of a need to educate Canadians about the long-standing legacy of the schools.

NDP indigenous affairs critic Romeo Saganash, himself a residential school survivor, wants Beyak to resign.

Beyak’s office declined an interview request, saying the senator has no further comments, but also indicated she cited both “negatives and positives” of the residential school system.

 

The Canadian Press