I am writing in response to a letter submitted to your newspaper by Nick Beyak, the son of Senator Lynn Beyak.
I want to comment specifically on the inaccurate statements that Mr. Beyak has made about Councillor Douglas Judson, who has-very admirably-used his public office to speak out against Senator Beyak’s inappropriate and offensive comments toward survivors of residential schools, and her publication of racist content on her Senate website.
These are important issues for many people in Treaty 3 territory, where Fort Frances is located, and for your loyal readers.
Mr. Beyak alleges that Councillor Judson is merely grandstanding and focused on his own political ambition. Mr. Beyak is simply wrong.
Councillor Judson’s record in the legal community on these issues is well-known and his commitment to equity and inclusion is longstanding, as has been reflected in his campaign to become a bencher of the Law Society of Ontario and the endorsements he has received from key stakeholder communities such as the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, and the Roundtable of Diversity Associations.
I also have direct experience volunteering with Councillor Judson in the Ontario Bar Association, on the Law Society of Ontario’s Equity Advisory Group, and at Start Proud.
I am very much aware of his work with a number of First Nation communities; as vice-chair of the local legal clinic, serving a number of vulnerable constituencies in the region; and spearheading Borderland Pride, a gathering point for the local LGBTQ2 community in the Fort Frances area.
Through all of this, I have come to know first-hand that speaking out against hate and discrimination is a hallmark of Councillor Judson’s civic leadership and personal values.
Your community should be proud to have members of local government willing to stand up against racism and oppression when senior government representatives and public officials are unable to uphold the standards required of their public office.
Paul Jonathan Saguil
Barrister and solicitor
Past chair, Start Proud
Past chair, Law Society Equity Advisory Group
Past chair, OBA Equality Committee