Confront racism

Dear editor:
In a letter published last week, Nick Beyak has once again come to the breathless defence of his mother, Senator Lynn Beyak.
This follows her latest official reprisal–this time from the Senate Ethics Officer–and my subsequent comments on the matter at a meeting of Fort Frances town council.
Students perished in our local residential school. It is patently absurd for Mr. Beyak to suggest that there is a “reasonable discussion” to be had or any need to “understand the views and experiences of those who see things differently” on these issues. The facts are widely accepted and officially documented.
One fact is that the Beyaks certainly did not experience residential schools. I am content to stand with those who did, and those families and communities that continue to feel their impact.
Frankly, I can’t even fathom spending my entire life in Northwestern Ontario and denying this tragic history, or the fact of racism in Canada. There is no debate to be had about those realities, and I will not waste your column inches engaging in one.
In any event, it is clear that the facts are irrelevant to the Beyaks. Mr. Beyak’s letter has muddled them in an attempt to divert attention from his mother, even though the record is clear:
In 2018, the Senate Ethics Officer began an investigation into complaints against the Senator, centred on her publication of racist letters on her taxpayer-funded website.
On March 19, the Ethics Officer concluded his investigation, finding that the Senator had breached the Senate’s ethics code. His report ordered her to remove the racist content from her website.
The Ethics Officer’s report revealed that Senator Beyak made a number of deeply disturbing comments in her defence–including stating that there is no racism in Canada and that the Commissioners of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission engaged in “reverse racism.”
As of this writing, the Senator has failed to adhere to the Ethics Officer’s order.
At the March 25 meeting of council, I called on the Senator to comply with the Ethics Officers’ finding, or to resign her seat and stop disrespecting the people of our region. The full text of my remarks is available at
I stand by every single word. I will never apologize for using my voice and platforms to speak out against injustice, hatred, or systemic disadvantage impacting people in our community. That is my concept of community leadership, and the ethic I bring to public office. Racism and oppression can only be overcome by confronting it every time it rears its head.
If the Senator will not face facts, and use her office and generous salary to support our communities, she should resign instead of embarrassing and insulting our communities any further.
Douglas W. Judson
Town of Fort Frances