Pankiw Defends Pamphlets At Tribunal Hearing

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 at 14:46



A former Member of Parliament who is facing a human rights tribunal is unapologetic for the brochures that sparked the complaints against him.


Jim Pankiw defended his controversial brochures he sent out around 2003 while MP for the Saskatoon-Humboldt riding at a human rights tribunal in Saskatoon this morning.


Pankiw says he is an “egalitarian” who believes in equality, and he takes issue with federal government policies that he says treat people differently based on race . . . such as employment equity program or what he calls more lenient sentences for Aboriginal people.


Pankiw says, with politics, comes people who will disagree with your opinion.


Pankiw says he received thousands of responses to his brochures and believes about 95% of them supported his views.


He says he has been the target of mean-spirited and vicious personal attacks — and says if the tribunal rules he is discriminatory, it is ruling against equality.


A man who helped launch the complaint against Pankiw told the tribunal yesterday that he would like to hear Pankiw publicly apologize.


Richard Ross is one of nine complainants who say Pankiw’s brochures were discriminatory against First Nations people.


Ross says, as a First Nations person, he was very angry at what he calls the racist rants contained in the brochures.


He would like to see measures taken to ensure MPs can’t mail out whatever material they like.


Ross says he would also like some compensation.