Roundup: Making a martyr of herself

If there’s one thing that we’re talking about right now that’s not the interminable Standing Orders debate, it’s Senator Lynn Beyak, of the “well intentioned residential schools” remarks, which came shortly after her incomprehensible remarks about trans people while saying that good gays don’t like to cause waves. And after being removed from the Senate’s Aboriginal Peoples committee, she put out a press release that didn’t really help her cause.

Of course, the more we talk about Beyak in the media and demand that Something Must Be Done about her, the more it’s going to embolden her and her supporters. The fact that she’s starting to martyr herself on the cause of “opposing political correctness” is gaining her fans, including Maxime Bernier, whom she is supporting in the leadership. Bernier says he doesn’t agree with her statement about residential schools, but he’s all aboard her “political correctness” martyrdom. Oh, and it’s causing some of the other Conservative senators to close ranks around her, because that’s what starts to happen when someone on their team is being harassed (and before you say anything, my reading of Senator Ogilvie’s “parasites” comment was more dark humour in the face of this situation than anything, and reporters taking to the Twitter Machine to tattle and whinge makes We The Media look all the worse).

But seriously, Beyak is not an important figure. She’s marginal at best within her own party, and her comments have marginalized her position further. But the more that people continue to howl about her, or post e-petitions demanding that the government remove her (which is unconstitutional, by the way), the more she turns herself into a martyr on this faux-free speech platform that is attracting all manner of right-wing trolls, the more she will feel completely shameless about her words. We’ve shone the spotlight, but sometimes we also need to know when to let it go and let obscurity reclaim her.

Good reads:

  • While in New York, Justin Trudeau expressed a desire for international action on the Syria chemical attacks. The missiles fired at Syrian airfields may be that response.
  • The Commons spent pretty much the whole day on a point of privilege related to access blocked by security for MPs, and the Conservatives dragged it out.
  • Brian Mulroney met with the Canada-US Cabinet committee to talk about his networking with the Americans on the NAFTA file.
  • Navdeep Bains is sharing the credit for the upcoming announcement on interprovincial trade with his predecessor, James Moore.
  • The VADM Mark Norman tale gets more sordid as competing versions emerge about cabinet confidences leaking, Irving lobbying, and the politics of shipbuilding.
  • Peter MacKay says that Rona Ambrose had a role to play in appointing Justice Robin Camp when she was the regional minister.
  • After first voting against it, the Senate has voted to create their own Canada 150 medal programme.
  • CBC got a look into judge school, where yes, they have put a renewed focus on sexual assault training without Rona Ambrose’s bill.
  • Here’s a look at Attiwapiskat a year after a suicide crisis there, and talks about how just throwing money at a problem doesn’t really help.
  • A Montreal consultant and city council candidate is also expressing an interest in a leadership bid for the NDP.
  • Maclean’s has a profile of Maxime Bernier and his political redemption.
  • Former Reform/Alliance/Conservative MP Chuck Strahl warns against splitting the party again.
  • This week’s Ask Kady Anything looks at the Board of Internal Economy and that Fair Vote Canada/NDP collusion issue.

Odds and ends:

Public services minister Judy Foote is taking a temporary leave of absence for family reasons. Jim Carr will assume her duties in her absence.

Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault has stated that she won’t seek reappointment when her term is up in June.