‘The Ignatieffs were not typical immigrants’

In a missive this evening, apparently in response to this video, the Conservative party takes issue with Mr. Ignatieff’s family heritage and apparently seeks to debate who can rightfully claim to be an immigrant.

While the Ignatieffs have made the most of their coming to Canada in their respective fields, they have never ceased to enjoy great privilege, as a function of the financial and educational resources and social status they brought with them, and which are theirs to this day.  The Ignatieff immigrant experience is one of significant wealth, first-rate educations and privilege. Very few Canadian families can claim this “immigrant experience.”

Mr. Ignatieff’s father, George, served for nearly 50 years in the Canadian civil service. The website for Citizenship and Immigration Canada describes his life story here. For whatever it is worth—assuming one wishes to engage in a debate over the exact socioeconomic status of a politician’s late father and the worthiness of such—that biography includes the observation that, upon arriving in Canada, his family had “barely enough money for basic necessities.”




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