Even Our MPs Are Not Above The Star Chambers

Former MP loses last effort to fend off human rights tribunal

The Supreme Court of Canada refused Thursday to hear an appeal from Jim Pankiw, who served two terms as a Reform and Canadian Alliance MP for the riding of Saskatoon-Humboldt.

As usual, the justices gave no reasons for their decision.

The case involves a householder, the pamphlets which MPs are allowed to mail out to their constituents.

Nine people complained that Pankiw made discriminatory comments about aboriginals in the pamphlet and the Canadian Human Rights Commission referred the matter to the tribunal.

The tribunal ruled it had the right to hear the case and the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal both dismissed Pankiw’s appeals.

The Speaker of the House of Commons sided with Pankiw’s argument that disagreements over political matters should be settled through the ballot box, not a rights tribunal.

Pankiw, 41, was first elected to the Commons in 1997 and was re-elected in 2000.

He was controversial for a number of comments he made about aboriginals and ended up sitting as an Independent member for the last part of his second term.

The Saskatoon chiropractor lost the 2004 election. In 2006, he ran as an independent against Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz in Battlefords-Lloydminster and finished a dismal third.

Pankiw also lost a 2003 bid to become mayor of Saskatoon. (Source)

Politicians of all stripes had better wake up fast, even the ones who have a penchant for supporting “human rights”.   If they don’t do something about the extraordinary powers of the HRCs and the kind of totalitarian powers they have been able to accumulate for themselves over the past several years, these Star Chambers will not be accountable to anyone, least of all the people who we elect.

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