• Controversial war in Canada over Parliament's tribute to Ukrainian 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 World War II, during the visit of President Volodimir Zelenski last Friday, September 22.

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

"That public ovation has caused pain to individuals 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 Wednesday. Until then, a deputy spokesperson will take office.

During the Ukrainian president's visit to Ottawa on Friday, Rota gave a standing ovation to 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 Centre (FSWC), Hunka served in the SS's 14th Waffen Grenadier Division, 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 had been Speaker of the House since 2019.

  • Canada
  • Ukraine
  • Special Ukrainian War