A Canadian senator, hailed by some as a defender of free speech and vilified by others as a racist, has apologized to her colleagues in the upper chamber for posting offensive letters on her official website and refusing to take them down.
The letters included suggestions that Indigenous cultures are inferior.
The letters were sent to the senator, Lynn Beyak, in 2017 after she was critical of the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that harshly condemned the Canadian Indian Residential School System, saying it had been marked by mental, physical and sexual abuse and resulted in the death of at least 6,000 children from malnutrition and disease.
Beyak said that the findings overshadowed “good deeds” of “well-intentioned” workers at the residential schools.
Beyak, a former business person in northern Ontario and a failed Progressive-Conservative Party candidate for the Ontario legislature, was appointed a senator in 2013 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
With files from BCC (John Paul Taster), Canadian Press