WINNIPEG — Michael Ignatieff once viewed Ukrainians as "nasty anti-Semites," according to a flyer distributed by a Conservative cabinet minister.
Vic Toews has resurrected allegations the Liberal leader is anti-Ukrainian in a flyer sent to communities in his Manitoba riding with large Ukrainian populations.
The flyer includes a photo of Ignatieff and two excerpts from his 1995 book Blood and Belonging, which includes the quotes, "Ukrainian independence conjures up images of embroidered peasant shirts, the nasal whine of ethnic instruments, phoney cossacks in cloaks and boots, nasty anti-Semites." It also refers to Ignatieff as a "Great Russian" with a "taste of old Russian disdain for these 'little Russians.' "
The same remarks were raised against Ignatieff in 2005 when he ran for the Liberals in the Toronto riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore, and have haunted him repeatedly since, despite his attempts to explain they were meant as irony to rebut long-standing stereotypes of Ukrainians held by Russians.
On the flip side of the flyer, Toews outlines things the Conservatives have done for Ukraine and Ukrainian Canadians, and includes a photo of Toews with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko.
Source: Montreal Gazette