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Pankiw to Run for Federal Election in Saskatoon-Humboldt

By Dustin K. C. Irvine     Feb 11, 2010 in Politics
Saskatoon - Jim Pankiw brings great attention on himself once again in the Saskatoon community, finding new ways to stir old controversy.
Jim Pankiw is a name that tends to strike, in the least, controversy for people living in the Saskatoon and the greater area. Pankiw has run for a seat in the House of Commons before, and as some may not know, has won. He was a former member of the 4 different parties (all conservative in nature) from 1997 to 2004, including finishing his final part of his Federal term as an independent. He was disbanded from the Canadian Alliance due to tension with Stockwell Day and was refused entry into the Canadian Conservative party upon its creation due to mounting controversy he had created around himself.
Pankiw however, shines in the limelight once again and for much of the same reasons, resurfacing again to run for Federal election in the Saskatoon-Humboldt area. His recent determination to run once again for election on the Federal level had him call a press conference. Which you can watch here:
This press conference was called to outline three main points:
1. That “people don’t need politician’s they like, they need politicians they trust”
2. A refocusing on “egalitarianism” and that we need to stop “shoveling money into this race based system” which costs Canadians “9.3 Billion dollars” a year.
3. And Pankiw now has a “very powerful tool, and that is the internet” and will be doing an “end run around the media”. He will be running his campaign purely off of his website: [url=]
Pankiw has been under rigorous scrutiny in Saskatoon at his perspective on what he describes as “race based privileges” of aboriginal people. His view is for the abolition of any treaty or right recognizing aboriginal’s special status and to have them “integrated into society.” This perspective goes against the common expressed Canadian value of appreciation of multiculturalism and asymmetrical treatment in the benefit of disfranchised peoples. In this, is where great tension lies and where many people, like the reporter in his press conference asking him if he is “straight up a racist” come from.
However, Pankiw is a master of exacerbating his situation by poorly articulating ideas, comparing aboriginal chiefs to Klu Klux Klan members, and his constant use of the politically incorrect term “Indian”. This coupled with his aggressive and somewhat uncalled for treatment of the media members (for example, calling the press conference to “rub it in their faces”) has put Pankiw in a rather bad view from the public eye. Despite this negative aura Pankiw has brought around the issue, Canadians can at least relate to aboriginal rights and treaties as a long, outstanding issue that does need to be dealt with. What Pankiw fails to do, is suggest any means of resolving the dilemma within the current institutions from a multicultural perspective. Most of the aboriginal rights are specifically tide to the right of aboriginals to self govern within Canada. Free education being a means to learn how to self govern, and tax exemption allowing them to set up their own tax system to fund their own government and government programs such as health care. These might sound like good ideas but they are heavily tide to sovereignty, and the ability of aboriginals to have authority over a given area. Until Ottawa and the provinces come together to solve the many outstanding land disputes as well as to sit down to completely define (individual) group rights, this is doubtful. Pankiw might find himself rallying a more support if his focus shifted from abolition to reform; reform that allows aboriginals to become independent and co-exist with out and outstanding fiscal tension.
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