Monday, October 27, 2008

When Will we Kill (or at Least Neuter) Human Rights Commissions?

This is wrong. Just wrong. The Canadian thought police are at it again, but this time they aren't just picking on a poor print shop owner or a right wing blogger. According to Ezra Levant, they're going after a former member of parliament. It's a relatively short article, and it's tough to pull out the most relevant part but this should give you a sense of the story:

In Saskatchewan, the CHRC [Canadian Human Rights Commission] is prosecuting a former Member of Parliament for politically incorrect mail that he sent to constituents five years ago.

Jim Pankiw, an MP who served from 1997 to 2004, is on trial for sending out flyers criticizing Indian crime in Saskatchewan. If convicted, Pankiw can face massive fines. He could also face other orders, ranging from a forced apology to a lifetime ban on commenting about aboriginal issues. If Pankiw refuses to comply with such an order, he could serve time in jail.

. . .

It’s unlikely that Pankiw will win, because the CHRC isn’t a real court, and real defences don’t apply. It’s presided over by a non-judge, and the hearing is stacked with every kind of politically correct apparatchik around. Take one of the “experts” relied upon by the CHRC, Derek Smith of Carleton University. As Terry O’Neill reported when the complaint was filed more than four years ago, Smith found proof of Pankiw’s racism in the colour of ink used in the brochures: black and red, on white paper.

Those are “colours very much associated with aboriginal people, for whom four colours have come to be associate with the four cardinal directions and have great spiritual significance,” wrote Smith. “One can hardly claim that the symbolism in this pamphlet is not inflammatory.”

Honestly this is scary stuff. Elsewhere in the article, Ezra rightly points out that MPs are given greater freedom of speech than ordinary Canadians through Parliamentary privilege. If they can't publish flyers on a legitimate election issue, then what about the rest of us?

It's time to reign these lunatics in. Now.

Incidentally, this is not new. It's been an issue for years and it's becoming mainstream. Back in the spring I had a post about Rick Mercer letting Canadians know about this travesty of justice.

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