Canada House Speaker resigns after celebrating Ukrainian veteran who fought for Nazi unit in

In World


Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons Anthony Rota resigned his post Tuesday, days after he praised a Ukrainian veteran who fought for a Nazi military unit during World War II.

On Friday, following a joint address to parliament by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Rota lauded Yaroslav Hunka, 98, as a Ukrainian-Canadian war hero who “fought for Ukrainian independence against the Russian aggressors then, and continues to support the troops today.”

But in the days since, human rights and Jewish organizations have condemned Rota’s recognition, saying Hunka served in a Nazi military unit known as the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS.

“This house is above any of us, therefore I must step down as your speaker,” Rota said in parliament Tuesday afternoon, reiterating his “profound regret for my error.”

“That public recognition has caused pain to individuals and communities, including the Jewish community in Canada and around the world, in addition to survivors of Nazi atrocities in Poland, among other nations,” Rota, who is a member of the Liberal party, added. “I accept full responsibility for my actions.”

Rota’s recognition of Hunka last week prompted a standing ovation. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called the incident “deeply embarrassing.”

The 14th Waffen Grenadier Division was part of the Nazi SS organization declared a criminal organization by the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg in 1946, which determined the Nazi group had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Jewish human rights organization B’nai Brith Canada in a statement condemned the Ukrainian volunteers who served in the unit as “ultra-nationalist ideologues” who “dreamed of an ethnically homogenous Ukrainian state and endorsed the idea of ethnic cleansing.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shakes hands with House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on last Friday in Ottawa.

Recognizing Hunka was “beyond outrageous,” B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn said, adding, “We cannot allow the whitewashing of history.”

“Canadian soldiers fought and died to free the world from the evils of Nazi brutality,” he said.

Rota apologized in a statement Sunday and on the floor of parliament Tuesday, when he said he had “become aware of more information which causes me to regret my decision to recognize this individual.”

Rota took full responsibility, saying it was his decision alone to acknowledge Hunka, who Rota said is from his electoral district.

“No one – not even anyone among you, fellow parliamentarians, or from the Ukrainian delegation – was privy to my intention or my remarks prior to their delivery,” he said.

Read More: Canada House Speaker resigns after celebrating Ukrainian veteran who fought for Nazi unit in

Join Our Newsletter!

Love Daynight? We love to tell you about our new stuff. Subscribe to newsletter!

You may also read!

Russia warns US that Ukraine will be its ‘second Vietnam’

The Kremlin’s spy chief Sergei Naryshkin warned the U.S. that Ukraine will turn into its “second Vietnam,” amid


Get behind my Rwanda asylum plan, Rishi Sunak tells Tories

By Joshua Nevett Political reporter, BBC NewsWatch: My patience with Rwanda plan has worn thin - SunakRishi


Analysis | FBI director cites mysterious Iran-linked attack in arguing for Section 702

Comment on this storyCommentAdd to your saved storiesSaveGood morning and welcome to The Cybersecurity 202, where today is


Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.