Provencher MP Vic Toews got in on the smear campaign action last week, sending out a mailing to his constituents painting Ignatieff as a Ukrainian-hater. Toews takes some Ignatieff quotes that could be interpreted as racial slurs toward Ukrainians and displays them completely out-of-context, giving the impression that Ignatieff has an ax to grind with anyone of Ukrainian ancestry.
The two quotes come from Ignatieff’s book Blood and Belonging, which explores Russian stereotypes of Ukrainians. At first the glance the quotes are provocative, but only because they’re being read completely apart from the book they’re taken from.
It is material that was fairly thoroughly discussed in 2006 when Ignatieff was running for leader the first time around.
I'm not surprised, of course, that Conservatives would want people of Ukrainian descent to see these quotes. It does surprise me, however, that a prominent minister would want his own name so closely associated with something that's a bit, well, sleazy.