House Speaker Anthony Rota Resigns After Inviting Nazi SS Veteran to Parliament for Standing Ovation

In a historic and unprecedented move, Anthony Rota has resigned as Speaker of the House of Commons, following widespread backlash over his decision to invite Yaroslav Hunka, a 98-year-old Nazi veteran, to a speech by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. The controversy erupted after it was revealed that Hunka had served in the Nazi SS Galizien division during World War II, known for committing atrocities against Jews and Poles during its campaign on the Eastern Front.

Although Rota issued an apology on Monday for Hunka’s presence at the event, he initially refused to resign. His decision to step down came amid escalating demands for his resignation from various opposition parties. The New Democrats and the Bloc Quebecois were particularly vocal about their discontent, with NDP leader Peter Julian labeling Rota’s decision to invite Hunka as “an unforgivable error which puts the entire House in disrepute.”

Despite the universal approval and applause that Hunka received during the event, including from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the ceremony has been characterized as “deeply embarrassing for the House and for Canada.” Trudeau did not explicitly call for Rota’s resignation, but the growing international attention and condemnation, especially from Russia and Poland, intensified the pressure on Rota to step down.

Rota, during the event, praised Hunka as “a Ukrainian hero, a Canadian hero… who fought for Ukrainian independence against the Russians,” but omitted any mention of Hunka’s service in Hitler’s elite Waffen SS. This nonagenarian was identified by the Associated Press as a member of the First Ukrainian Division, a voluntary unit established by the Nazis in 1943. The invitation and the subsequent recognition of Hunka became an international focal point of controversy, portraying a gross oversight and marring Canada’s reputation on the international stage.

The Toronto-based Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) issued a statement highlighting the brutal and malicious actions of the unit Hunka served in, emphasizing that there should be no confusion regarding the unit’s responsibility for the mass murder of innocent civilians.

While his tenure as the Speaker had him operate outside of partisan lines, Rota’s decision has put the House into an unprecedented situation where a new Speaker will be elected via a secret-ballot election.

Information for this briefing was found via the Canadian Press and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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