From the Embassy:
Among the many things attracting more attention than the government’s lackluster Throne Speech on Monday was the renovation Michael Ignatieff has given to the Liberal front bench.
With his shadow cabinet shuffle last week, Mr. Ignatieff’s consolidation of power appears complete, with few supporters of former Liberal leader Stéphane Dion remaining in prominent positions.
Former citizenship and immigration critic Borys Wrzesnewskyj, who opposed Mr. Ignatieff during his rise to power, was also cut from the ranks, along with Montreal MP and famed human rights lawyer Irwin Cotler. Mr. Cotler’s position of human rights critic has been done away with altogether.
Longtime Iggy supporters, meanwhile, have been rewarded. Scott Brison has moved from finance to international trade, replacing David McGuinty, who has been given the energy and environment portfolio. Maurizio Bevilacqua has been assigned to immigration, while Glen Pearson (who has three children adopted from Sudan) has taken over as critic for international co-operation.
Borys was the Critic for Citizenship, Immigration & Multiculturalism and a great leader in the Ukrainian Canadian community. Here are some of Iggy’s thoughts from his 1993 book ‘Blood and Belonging’:
“I feel like declaring my basic prejudices on arrival”, “Isn’t nationalism just an exercise in kitsch, in fervent emotional insincerity? Especially so in Ukraine. It has been part of Russia for centuries.”
“Into this inauthentic void streams nationalist emotionalism”, “striving to convince them that there always was a Ukrainian nation; that it has been suppressed for centuries; that it has at last found its freedom, and so on. The reality is different”
“My difficulty in taking Ukraine seriously goes deeper than just my cosmopolitan suspicion of nationalists everywhere. Somewhere inside, I’m also what Ukrainians would call a Great Russian, and there is just a trace of old Russian disdain for these “little Russians.” The thought of their independence conjured up only “images of embroidered peasant shirts, the nasal whine of ethnic instruments, phoney Cossacks in cloaks and boots, nasty anti-Semites.”
You can write to Ignatieff postage-free (as well any MP) at:
House of Commons