The Speaker of Canada’s House of Commons, Anthony Rota, has issued an apology for commending an individual part of a Nazi unit in World War II.
This remark took place during a session attended by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the visiting President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
During his address to the Canadian Parliament on Friday, Rota expressed his acknowledgment of Yaroslav Hunka, aged 98, as both a “Ukrainian hero” and a “Canadian hero,” and he extended gratitude for Mr. Hunka’s dedicated service.
Following criticism of Rota’s comments, he issued a statement saying, “In my remarks following the address of the President of Ukraine, I recognized an individual in the gallery.
“I have subsequently become aware of more information which causes me to regret my decision to do so.”
He stated that prior to his delivery, nobody, not even his fellow parliamentarians or the Ukrainian delegation, had any knowledge of his intention or his comments.
“I particularly want to extend my deepest apologies to Jewish communities in Canada and around the world,” Rota said, “I accept full responsibility for my actions.”
The Friends Of Simon Wiesenthal Center For Holocaust Studies had earlier requested an apology and explanation.
The body stated, “FSWC is appalled that Canada’s Parliament gave a standing ovation to a Ukrainian veteran who served in a Nazi military unit during the Second World War implicated in the mass murder of jews and others.”
The Canadian Jewish organization, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), also expressed serious concern over the celebration of an individual with ties to a Nazi division involved in the Jewish genocide.
The organisation later stated that it appreciated the apology issued by the House of Commons Speaker, stating, “Proper vetting is imperative to ensure such an unacceptable incident does not occur again.”