Canada Speaker of Parliament resigns after praising Nazi war veteran

The Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons, Anthony Rota, has announced his resignation following the scandal caused by the tribute paid to a Ukrainian veteran who fought with the Nazis during the Second World War, during the visit of President Volodymyr Zelensky last Friday

Canada Speaker of Parliament resigns after praising Nazi war veteran

The Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons, Anthony Rota, has announced his resignation following the scandal caused by the tribute paid to a Ukrainian veteran who fought with the Nazis during the Second World War, during the visit of President Volodymyr Zelensky last Friday. September 22.

"With a heavy heart, I rise to inform members of my resignation as Speaker of the House of Commons," Rota declared before Parliament, expressing his "deep regret for [his] mistake."

"That public ovation has caused pain to people and communities, including the Jewish community in Canada and around the world... I fully accept responsibility for my actions," Rota said, adding that his resignation would take effect this Wednesday. Until then, a deputy spokesperson will fill the role.

During the Ukrainian president's visit in Ottawa on Friday, Rota applauded Yaroslav Hunka, a 98-year-old Ukrainian veteran, and introduced him as a "Ukrainian hero."

But according to the Canadian Jewish advocacy group Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC), 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.

First elected in 2004 under the Liberal banner (Justin Trudeau's party), Anthony Rota, 62, has been re-elected five times. He was president of the House since 2019.