Canada: Parliament speaker resigns after tribute to former Nazi soldier

The Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada announced his resignation on Tuesday after the scandal caused by the tribute paid in parliament to a Ukrainian veteran who fought with the Nazis during the Second World War, on the occasion of Volodymyr Zelensky's visit

Canada: Parliament speaker resigns after tribute to former Nazi soldier

The Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada announced his resignation on Tuesday after the scandal caused by the tribute paid in parliament to a Ukrainian veteran who fought with the Nazis during the Second World War, on the occasion of Volodymyr Zelensky's visit . “It is with a heavy heart that I rise to inform members of my resignation as Speaker of the House of Commons,” Anthony Rota told parliament, speaking of “his deep regret for his mistake.”

The latter had been under pressure since last weekend since all parties were calling for his resignation - including the tenors of his clan, the Liberals of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The latter spoke of an “unacceptable” and “embarrassing” tribute. “I accept full responsibility for my actions. My resignation will take effect at the end of the sitting day tomorrow, Wednesday, September 27, to allow preparations for the election of a new president,” explained Anthony Rota.

During Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's visit to Ottawa on Friday, Anthony Rota applauded Yaroslav Hunka, a 98-year-old Ukrainian veteran accused of having fought in the SS. He presented this man as a “Ukrainian hero”, coming from his electoral district.

But according to Canada's Jewish community advocacy group, Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC), Yaroslav Hunka served in the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, a Nazi military unit whose crimes against humanity during the Holocaust are well documented. Anthony Rota apologized for the first time on Sunday for this invitation, explaining “that he was the only one responsible for this initiative”. First elected in 2004 under the liberal banner, Anthony Rota, 62, has been re-elected five times. He had been the Speaker of the House since 2019.