The Calgary West MP was absent from the House of Commons when news of Mandela's death was announced.
On Friday, Anders offered no comment to Global News
on the death of the former South African leader, although he has called Mandela a terrorist and a communist in the past. Those were words he used back in 2001, when he was the sole voice opposing a motion to declare Mandela an honourary Canadian citizen, which was passed by his colleagues and the opposition.
However, in an email to reporter Laura Stone
, the Calgary West MP recommended that she read an obituary posted on the David Horowitz Freedom Centre
"Mandela began as a terrorist and never turned his back on monsters like Arafat and Castro, whom he considered brothers in arms," said the release.
"But if a leader should be judged by his works, the country Mandela left behind is an indictment of his political career, not an achievement worthy of praise – let alone the unhinged adoration he is currently receiving across the political spectrum."
When pressed by the media about any changes in his stance on Mandela since his death, Anders emailed back, “I have previously provided my thoughts on Nelson Mandela. I will let history be the judge.”
Fellow Conservative Deepak Obhrai, who was raised in Tanzania, refused to echo sentiments uttered by Anders.
"I'm going to be very clear," he said Friday on the CBC
talk show Power and Politics
. "Mr. Mandela's legacy is a strong legacy of human dignity. That is his legacy. Anybody else wants to cast on that legacy is on the wrong side of history."
from Prime Minister Stephen Harper did not address Anders's comments.
"The Prime Minister’s view, which he made clear last night in his statement and which he delivered on behalf of the Government of Canada is that with the death of Nelson Mandela, the world has lost one of its great moral leaders and statesmen," said Jason MacDonald, Harper's spokesperson in a release.
"He has left an enduring legacy, and has acted with grace, humility and tremendous magnanimity. In that regard, he is a model for all of us."