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Sunday, March 08, 2009

CHRC vs. Pankiw: Big Sister wins

The case of the Canadian Human Rights Commission vs. Jim Pankiw did not directly involve the news media, so it didn't get all that much national press. As well, it did not involve a charismatic champion, such as Mark Steyn or Ezra Levant, but rather a bombastic and unpopular member of Parliament, so it attracted little notice.

Nevertheless, for six years, starting when he was still sitting in the House of Commons, Pankiw was persecuted and prosecuted by the CHRT because of the content of some flyers. As I reported in one of my first cover stories for the old Western Standard, and then in the new online magazine last fall, the trumped up case against Pankiw argued that even his use of bold headlines and of red ink constituted discrimination against native Indians.

Well, the case has now sputtered to an end, with the CHRC finding Pankiw innocent. But, really, just like the cases against Steyn and Levant, it would have been better for the kangaroo commission courts to have delivered guilty verdicts, so the cases could then have found their way into real courts and so that more public pressure against censorious human-rights laws might have built.

What we're left with now is a draconian law still being in place, with the threat that it can be used to make life miserable for anyone voicing a politically incorrect opinion. It's a travesty.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on March 8, 2009 in Media | Permalink


Good point Terry. It is like it was burried alive, only to come up in uglier ways sometime in the future.

Posted by: TM | 2009-03-08 10:36:32 AM

Read the decision in full here:

HTML version: http://www.chrt-tcdp.gc.ca/search/view_html.asp?doid=963&lg=_e&isruling=0

PDF version: http://www.chrt-tcdp.gc.ca/search/files/2009_chrt_8.pdf

So does this result mean that those who have made a meal of the "100% conviction rate" now have to drop that bit of nonsense?

Posted by: Fact Check | 2009-03-08 10:53:31 AM

Checking my own facts....

This case was not a section 13 case - the hate speech provision. The sections considered were sections 5, 12, and 14 all ones that are legitimate provisions of the Act (unlike section 13). Furthermore, the CHRT came up with the right decision - none of those sections do apply to Pankiw.

But the big question is: Why did it take so long for them to determine that the Act did not apply? Should that not be something clear at the initial stages, thus keeping the case from ever getting to the decision stage? The only explanations are (a) There are people at the CHRC who knew there was no case, but decided to (ab)use the process as punishment, (b) There are people at the CHRC who were hoping to expand the definition of "notice, sign, symbol" in section 12 the same way the Alberta HRC did a few years ago, (c) There are incompetent people at the CHRC, or (d) some or all of the above. I leave it to others to pretend they know the answer.

Posted by: Fact Check | 2009-03-08 11:06:18 AM

Fact Check,

Or there was an arguable case on either side of the issue, and the HRC sat down and argued it out, and this is what they decided. Takes time to do that kind of thing.


Sorry but its pretty obvious Pankiw has a problem with Indians. Googe why exactly it was Harper kept him out the new CPoC. He was out beyond the right wing fringe of the new party. I've seen the fliers in question, too. They are pretty racist.

Posted by: bigcitylib | 2009-03-08 3:02:55 PM

bigcitylib, so facts are racist. Of course if the same facts happened to apply to whites, then you would not be claiming racism. Most people are pretty fed up with you people trying to trot out the racist card when you disagree with documented facts. Furthermore, there is no one more racist than a leftist.

FC, again trying to split hairs and again missing the whole point. Not enough traffic on your blog I suppose.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-03-08 7:44:25 PM

BCL: the term racist was invented in 1905 by Leon Trotsky. It appears nowhere in history, literature, or philosophy prior to that.

The term racist is an explicit rejection of Darwin, whose work was fully titled: "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. "

Did you want to go on record as stating that you agree with Darwin's "Favoured Races" theory?

Of course not. Ergo, you and your fellow travellers aren't Darwinists, we socons are. We embrace science and Darwin, you reject it. See how easy that was? Now piss off.

Posted by: Heavyweight | 2009-03-08 11:30:43 PM

Darwin used the term "races" to mean "varieties". He writes, for example, of "the several races, for example, of the cabbage"
So, Heavyweight, what sort of cabbage are you?

Posted by: truewest | 2009-03-09 12:31:03 AM

Fact Check and Big City Lib are a couple of troll types who hate reality and conservatism.

You waste your time replying to their inanities, they are mental defectives ... they are Leftists.

If most of our government has agreed that there is a problem with the HRCs, which they have done, then why no action?

They like this body, it helps them keep the cattle on the ranch. Anything the diminishes the power of a citizen increases the power of government. That is the business they are. They are certainly not in the business of doing what they were originally intended to do.

Were they elected to make it nearly impossible to be a gun owner in a so called free country. Were they elected to make it nearly impossible to freely criticize a group of people with factual information? Were they elected to extort about half of all the money we earn?

Do they take care of providing a healthy economic environment? Do they run a successful educational system? Do they keep our streets safe? Do they run a sensible immigration service?

Why are two incomes in an average home not enough to provide a decent living with some savings left over?

Where did 40% of the stock market disappear to taking retirement funds that have pushed countless seniors into poverty or back into the work force?

Just what the f*ck do these turkeys do for this country other than run it into the ground.

You cam blame a lot of this on the USA, but it was the same stupid, corrupt government and their pals in the banking industry that caused their melt down.

Meanwhile we are up here arguing over whether or not red ink insults Indians.

Sounds like we are seeing the end of our once great society.

Perhaps it is the will of Allah.

Posted by: Momar Throckmorton | 2009-03-09 12:37:40 AM

Call it what you will, in the end analysis this was a political hit job on an unrepentant dissident politician by political/ideological partisans using a politically correct code enforcing tribunal as a weapon against ideological/political enemies.

It was a political witch hunt followed by a Salem star chamber witch trial.

Regardless of out come, the indictment and the process is the punishment...a "not guilty" judgement is window dressing...it is the fear and intimidation of going through the stigmatizing and finance draining process that these politically correct star chambers exert their power...they are a tool for silencing and stigmatizing political dissent to the status quo memes of the current political class running them...it is a tool of political/ideological "cleansing" and oppression...just like its counter parts in all the other despotic Marxist backwaters which embrace the conformist totality of uncivil political control systems.

In other words, this seedy little HRC episode exposes the unseemly underbelly of 3rd world banana republic politics that has rooted itself in the Canadian political establishment.

There is absolutely nothing "progressive" about these political witch hunting tribunals. Time to burn the witch hunters on their own stakes.

Posted by: WL Mackenzie Redux | 2009-03-09 9:05:26 AM


I think you and I said much the same thing, only you said it more eloquently.

Posted by: John V | 2009-03-09 11:35:05 AM

You say it takes time to consider a case!!! These idiots took 5 years to determine they didn't have authority to even hear it. Their own legislation and other court decisions make it very clear that they didn't have authority.
More likely, they decided to inflict as much pain on the defendant as they could by dragging it out.
Fire. Them. All

Posted by: Bob H | 2009-03-09 2:29:33 PM

Terry O'Neill,
get your facts right. He wasn't found innocent, those fools at the HRC finally realized they had no authority under the Act to rule on the complaint. It took them 5 years to read their own Act.

Posted by: Bob H | 2009-03-09 2:32:11 PM

Jim Pankiw- what gets me is how racism-discrimination is such a hard thing to understand. Certainly it is related to oppression, and that is why advantaged people have such a hard time understanding it. If you attack an already oppressed group of people, you are irresponsible. It is akin to the lowest of blows, it is nothing more that dirty fighting. Moreover, how do you use equality against an already disadvantaged people? Seems to me the constitution got it right. Need I remind you Section 15(2) states: “Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantage individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race...”
The only reasoning I can come up with is that using equality is all about keeping the disadvantaged out. Yet this country was built with advantages, it is therefore hard to see how not allowing advantages to others is against the status quo. I would also think the constitution has a higher ideal/principle than some emotional opposition. Imagine if equality started at the inception of this country, there would be no reserves and the First Nations people would not be controlled and dominated by some legislation.

Posted by: CMax | 2009-03-09 6:52:36 PM

CMax said, "If you attack an already oppressed group of people, you are irresponsible."

It depends on what you mean by "attack." If you point out where they might be failing, you would be pointing them in the right direction, at least.

Posted by: Grant Brown | 2009-03-11 5:10:08 AM

I'm trying to find an email contact for Terrence C Watson. If you are out there, please email me TW. Thanks

Posted by: MW | 2009-03-12 7:24:20 AM

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