The speaker of Canada’s House of Commons, Anthony Rota, has announced his resignation following the controversy surrounding a guest speaker during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to Ottawa last week. Rota admitted to making a mistake by inviting 98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka, an ex-soldier who served in one of Adolf Hitler’s Waffen SS units during World War II, to attend the session.
The incident sparked outrage, with Russia condemning the decision and calling it outrageous. Rota had previously praised Hunka during the session, referring to him as a war hero. However, this led to backlash from various communities, including the Jewish community in Canada and around the world. Rota took full responsibility for his actions and expressed his regret for causing pain.
Rota’s resignation will take effect on Wednesday, and a deputy speaker will temporarily fulfill his duties until a replacement is found. The controversy also overshadowed President Zelenskyy’s visit to Canada, which aimed to strengthen bilateral relations and discuss important matters at the UN General Assembly and the White House.
Hunka had been introduced as a member of the First Ukrainian Division, also known as the Waffen-SS Galicia Division or the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS. These volunteer fighters were part of a Nazi military unit responsible for committing crimes against humanity during the Holocaust, according to the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center.
The incident played into Russia’s hands, as it aligned with their claims of “denazifying” Ukraine. The Russian government quickly seized the opportunity to criticize Canada for the oversight. Opposition politicians in Canada also accused the government of failing to properly vet Hunka, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s administration stated that they had received no prior warning.
Q: Who is Anthony Rota?
A: Anthony Rota is the speaker of Canada’s House of Commons.
Q: Who was the controversial guest speaker in the lower house of parliament?
A: The guest speaker was Yaroslav Hunka, a 98-year-old ex-soldier who served in one of Adolf Hitler’s Waffen SS units during World War II.
Q: Why did Anthony Rota resign?
A: Anthony Rota resigned due to the controversy surrounding the invitation and praise of Yaroslav Hunka.
Q: What division was Hunka a member of?
A: Hunka was introduced as a member of the First Ukrainian Division, which was also known as the Waffen-SS Galicia Division or the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS.
Q: How did Russia respond to the incident?
A: Russia criticized the incident and used it to support their claims of “denazifying” Ukraine.
– AFP: [Link](https://www.afp.com/)
– AP: [Link](https://www.apnews.com/)
– Reuters: [Link](https://www.reuters.com/)