Beyak applauds survey that shows Canadians divided on Indigenous issues
Sen. Lynn Beyak is applauding an online survey that suggests a majority of Canadians believe the government apologizes too much for residential schools and that Indigenous people should integrate more even if it means losing their culture.
The controversial senator was ousted from the Conservative caucus in January after she posted letters on her website supporting her defence of residential schools — but that hasn’t silenced her on the subject.
She issued a press release Friday welcoming the results of an online survey from the Angus Reid Institute.
“It’s refreshing to read an unbiased article and poll that truly reflects what Canadians believe will help our whole country move forward and prosper,” Beyak wrote.
Carolyn Bennett, minister for Crown-Indigenous relations, said it’s unfortunate Beyak “continues to promote division and misinformation rather than use her public position to educate and help advance reconciliation.”
She called on Beyak again to listen to survivors and First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and to remove the offensive materials from her Senate website that “espouse ill-informed and racist views.”
Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott called Beyak’s comments “disturbing” and said they show that “even senators have a way to go in understanding the importance of reconciliation.” And she said the survey results are contrary to what she’s heard from Canadians across the country.
“There’s a huge appetite among Canadians to understand what truth and reconciliation is.”
The survey sampled 2, 443 Canadian adults as part of the Angus Reid Forum from March 20 to the 27th and included large over-samples in regions with high Indigenous populations which were weighted, according to the company.
The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error as they are not random and therefore are not necessarily representative of the whole population.
Fifty-three per cent of respondents to the survey said Canada spends too much time apologizing for residential schools. And more than half said Indigenous people should have no special status and would be better off integrating into Canadian society, even at the cost of losing their traditions and culture.
Bennett pointed out that the majority of respondents admitted to having little to no knowledge about Indigenous issues.
Pollster Angus Reid said his team wanted to look at issues facing Indigenous people because it’s a topic that’s been “much debated in the country.”
“I’m sure the senator thinks it’s the best survey [she’s] ever seen on the subject and I’ve had hate mail from some people who think I should be tried and sent to jail because this is the worse survey he’s ever seen,” Reid said.
Categorised in: Canadian News