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Hitler Riesling, Stalin Sherry

This Reuters out of Canada is interesting for two reasons. One, "wine labeled with a photo of brutal Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin was pulled from shelves in the Canadian province of Manitoba this week." The sherry and port came from the Massandra winery in Ukraine, it was an attempt to commemorate the Yalta conference held near the winery sixty years ago. (The photo included FDR and Churchill). A Canadian with Ukranian roots objected. He said: "I don’t think anyone in Canada would welcome a Hitler Riesling or a Stalin sherry or a Pol Pot port or a Mao Tse-tung merlot." Second, notice that the article says this: "About 3 percent of Canadians, or more than 1 million people, identify themselves as ethnic Ukrainians in census surveys." Whoa! That’s a lot of Ukranians. Could that be right? The very next sentence says: "About 40,000 Ukrainian political refugees moved to Canada after World War II." I guess a lot more Ukrainians have moved to Canada since, or, they’re not penguins. I didn’t know.

Discussions - 9 Comments

I have quite a few Canadian friends from Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Many Ukranes moved to the area during the late 1800’s, more moved there after the defeat of the White Russian armies in the late 1920’s, and again after World War II. A large number of Ukranian Mennonites moved to the United States about the same time, many to Kansas and Nebraska.

I’d Just like to back up what Old Patriot said. My maternal grandparents came to western Canada (near the Manitoba/Saskatchewan border) in the 1920’s. They joined a thriving Ukranian community there. I could certainly understand why these numbers might come as a surprise to someone unfamiliar with the settlement of Canada’s western provinces.

I believe those numbers. There are many, many Ukrainians in Canada. Accordingly, many more universities in Canada than in the U.S. offer courses in Ukrainian language and culture...

Viva Ukraina.

Ukrainians form a very large percentage of the populations of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. They came to the Prairies mostly at the beginning of the 20th century as part of the government’s effort to populate the west with stout-hearted farmers. Anyone who comes from Winnipeg would know that a wine featuring Stalin would not go down too smoothly there, although the city was also home to arguably the most active and successful Communist Party in North America, with elected representation in the provincial legislature and/or city council from the early 1950s until the 1980s.

The things Americans don’t know! And yet they’re kind of cute for all that!

Occasionally -- but only occasionally -- one wonders how Peter has time to do anything other than surf the web and contribute to this blog. For what it’s worth, Peter, I bet the penguins at issue are simply lonely for female companionship, which, apparently, they won’t get, if the gay rights lobby has its way. . .

Maybe Ukrainian immigrants and their descendents make up as much as 3 percent of the population of Saskatchewan and Manitoba (and Alberta if you don’t count the population of Calgary and Edmonton), but that population would make up little more than 3 percent of Canada. The lack of Russian place names even in those provinces tends to refute evidence that any sizeable population of Ukrainian immigrants exists.

Don’t forget those numbers won’t be static. Them Ukranians like to breed too! They will continue to breed as long as eeyore’s gay lobby dosn’t gain too much influence. It’s Valentines day, I would expect there will be quite a few new Ukranians started today.

Here are the hard figures from the 2001 census. Note that the decision to allow people to call themselves ethnically "Canadian" undoubtedly disguises many more Ukrainians. Excluding those, nearly 15% of Manitobans claim Ukrainian ancestry, nearly as many Saskatchewaners and about 10% of Albertans. Ukrainians are the second largest non-British Isles group in all three provinces, after Germans (who in Manitoba, at least, are largely Mennonites).

Total population 1,103,695

Ethnic origin
Canadian 252,330
English 243,835
German 200,370
Scottish 195,570
Ukrainian 157,655
Irish 143,950
French 139,145

Total population 963,150

Ethnic origin
German 275,060
Canadian 240,535
English 235,715
Scottish 172,300
Irish 139,205
Ukrainian 121,735
French 109,800

Total population 2,941,150

Ethnic origin
Canadian 813,485
English 753,190
German 576,350
Scottish 556,575
Irish 461,065
French 332,675
Ukrainian 285,725

The total number of Canadians claiming some Ukrainian ancestry is 1.1 million out of 29.6 million. But there would be a lot of others, one would expect, among the 6 million or more Canadians who answered only that they were "Canadian". Note that the total population statistics are before the census adjustment, and therefore underrepresent total populations by about 5-10%.

Sorry, there are more French than Ukrainians in Alberta, making them the third-largest non-British Isles group there.

There are quite a few places on the Prairies with Ukrainian names, although by and large the settlers arrived after the surveys and naming had already been completed. I guess the lack of Chinese place names in B.C. pretty well proves that there are no Chinese there, eh? :)

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