Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Pankiw Case Appealed

Several years back, former Reform Party MP Jim Pankiw was charged under sections 5, 12, and 14 of the CHRA (referring to discrimination and harassment in the provision of services) for distributing a series of householder” pamphlets to his constituents that contained anti-aboriginal language and imagery. The case was originally dismissed because the "Canadian Human Rights Act does not apply to the “householder” pamphlets".

However, it is now being appealed:

Canadian Human Rights Commission lawyer Daniel Poulin said from Ottawa on Monday the commission appealed the ruling “late last week.”

“It is the position of the commission that the Human Rights Tribunal erred when it interpreted (the term) ‘services’ under Sections 5 and 14 of the Canadian Human Rights Act,” Poulin said.

The commission believes Pankiw’s householder mailouts should be considered a service, and that the act should apply, he said.

Rob Breakenridge asks:

So seven years after an MP sent out some pamphlets to his constituents and five years after that MP was sent packing by his constituents, we're still wasting taxpayer dollars investigating whether these pamphlets were "offensive".

Whether they were or not, it would seem as though a verdict was already rendered: i.e. the decision by Pankiw's constituents that they no longer wanted him as their representative in Ottawa. Why are we still wasting taxpayer dollars on this case?

Because if they were against the act they were against the act? And how about: if the matter were being pursued through the criminal code then it would cost a lot more?

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