Friday, March 06, 2009

Human Rights Tribunal does not have the arrogance to police elected politicians

But one wonders why this wasn't obvious to the Canadian "Human Rights" Commission that put this case to the Tribunal. (I'm just guessing that there are people who think it their profound ethical duty to try to pass judgment on all and sundry, and hence to rule the world, in the unimpeachable name of "human rights".)

The Canadian Press: Human Rights Tribunal dismisses discrimination complaint against former Sask MP (HT: Walker):
SASKATOON — A Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has dismissed a discrimination complaint against a former MP who distributed political pamphlets that included messages such as "Stop Indian Crime."

Jim Pankiw sent other similar messages to his Saskatoon-Humboldt constituents in 2002 and 2003 in taxpayer-funded mailouts called "householders" that are issued by MPs.

His pamphlets included comments that linked some aboriginals with higher crime rates, lack of accountability for crimes, extortion, blackmail and terrorism.

Complaints were filed against Pankiw that argued the pamphlets would be likely to expose aboriginals to hatred and contempt.

The tribunal ruled that the mailouts are not subject to the Canadian Human Rights Act because they do not provide a service to the public but rather to MPs by allowing them to share their political views with constituents.

"Not all discriminatory conduct is caught by the act," the tribunal wrote in its ruling, released Friday.

"The tribunal finds that the three householders in question sent by Pankiw are not subject to the provisions of the Canadian Human Rights Act. Accordingly, the complaints have not been substantiated and are dismissed."

Pankiw was not immediately available for comment.

The three pamphlets in question called for the end of hiring quotas, court sentencing provisions, hunting and fishing rights and tax exemptions for aboriginals. The pamphlets also said treaties should not be valid in modern times.

One pamphlet, titled "Stop Indian Crime," showed a photograph of the Oka protest in Quebec in 1990. The caption under the photo described an aboriginal protester as a terrorist.

Daniel Poulin, a lawyer for the human rights commission, said since the pamphlets aren't subject to the act, the panel was unable to consider whether Pankiw's statements were objectionable.

"The tribunal did not look at the actual content of the statements or the householders," Poulin said from Ottawa.

"It's a complex decision. It is a difficult issue, and its deals with whether the pamphlets are a service under the act. It is a very unusual case."

The tribunal noted the act states that communication-related discrimination is limited to statements that are transmitted by telephone or over the Internet. It does not apply to parliamentary householder pamphlets.

During a hearing into the complaints last fall, Pankiw told the tribunal he simply believes aboriginals should not be given special treatment by governments or society.

"You can't discriminate in favour of someone without discriminating against someone else. Discrimination is wrong," he said. "I am an egalitarian. I believe in equality of all people."

Pankiw gave as an example the case of a woman he knows who didn't get into law school because a certain number of seats were set aside for aboriginal students.

1 comment:

Walker Morrow said...

Thanks for the link!

I was mildly surprised to run accross this story, to be honest. Like I wrote in my blog, it really stuck out that about the only concrete reason that the Commission gave for not taking Pankiw's case to Tribunal was that his pamphlets were out of their jurisdiction. It sounded an awful lot like that drive-by verdict that Mark Steyn recieved last year.