Canada Parliament Speaker Rota Resigns After Calling Ukrainian Nazi Veteran a ‘Hero’

Rota's resignation will officially take effect at the conclusion of the sitting day on Wednesday, marking the end of his tenure as Speaker.

Team Parvasi – Inside

In a surprising turn of events, Liberal MP Anthony Rota has announced his resignation as Speaker of the House of Commons. This decision comes in the wake of a significant controversy involving his invitation to a Ukrainian veteran who had served in a Nazi division, a move that has been widely criticized by MPs from all political backgrounds.

Rota’s resignation will officially take effect at the conclusion of the sitting day on Wednesday, marking the end of his tenure as Speaker. In a statement made at 2 p.m. just prior to Tuesday’s question period, Rota acknowledged the gravity of the situation, stating, “This House is above any of us. Therefore, I must step down as your Speaker. I reiterate my profound regret for my error in recognizing an individual in the House.”

The Speaker expressed remorse for the “public recognition” he extended to a former Nazi soldier, acknowledging that it had caused pain to various individuals and communities, including Jewish people, Poles, and other survivors of Nazi atrocities.

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With Rota’s departure, Members of Parliament will need to swiftly select a new presiding officer to ensure the effective functioning of the Commons.

The controversy stemming from the appearance of 98-year-old Ukrainian veteran Yaroslav Hunka in Parliament on Friday continues to send shockwaves throughout the political landscape. The Polish education minister, Przemysław Czarnek, has called for Hunka’s extradition to face criminal penalties for his involvement in the 1st Galician division, a unit known for committing atrocities against Poles during the Second World War. Czarnek has indicated that steps are being taken to facilitate Hunka’s extradition to Poland.

The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre (FSWC), a prominent Jewish rights group, has strongly condemned Rota’s actions, asserting that they have “compromised all 338 MPs” and have inadvertently “handed a propaganda victory to Russia.” The FSWC is additionally urging the Commons’ Procedure and House Affairs Committee (PROC) to conduct public hearings, thoroughly investigate the sequence of events, and assess any failures in the vetting process that led to this controversy.

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