TORONTO, Sept 9 (ZXS) -- Annony Rota, speaker of the House of Representatives of the Canadian Parliament, has had to repeatedly apologize publicly for mistakenly inviting a veteran of Ukrainian descent who served the Nazis in Germany during World War II to sit in on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's speech. But opposition parties are pressuring him to resign.
On September 9, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who visited Canada for the first time since the full-scale escalation of the Ukrainian crisis in February 22, delivered a speech in the House of Representatives of the Canadian Parliament, calling on the Canadian side to continue to support Ukraine and put pressure on Russia.
After Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, Zelensky, and President of the Canadian Senate Gagne spoke one after another, Rota delivered a speech and specially introduced Yaroslav Hunca from his constituency who was invited to participate in the meeting that day. Rota praised the 98-year-old Hunca as a "hero of Ukraine, a hero of Canada" and thanked him for "all contributions." The attendees, including members of Congress Trudeau and Canada, Zelensky and his entourage, and representatives of the Ukrainian community, stood up twice and applauded Hongka in the gallery.
However, some mainstream media later revealed that Hunka had joined a unit of Ukrainian nationalists under the German Nazi SS during World War II. Public opinion was in an uproar. Some Jewish community organizations have expressed their displeasure with the incident and have demanded an apology from Congress.
On September 9, the Jewish Day of Atonement, Rota issued a statement expressing regret for his decision and apologizing to the Jewish community in Canada and around the world. He stressed that he was at his own discretion and took full responsibility for the matter. On the 24th, Rota apologized to Congress for the turmoil at the beginning of the House of Representatives.
Leaders of the opposition Conservative Party, the New Democratic Party, the Bloc Quebec or lawmakers criticized Rota, who belonged to the Liberal camp, as no longer qualified for the post of speaker and called for his resignation.
Although Rota repeatedly stressed that inviting Honka was his "personal decision" and that others did not know in advance, Conservative leader Poliev criticized the prime minister's office for failing to properly review the guest list, for which Trudeau is responsible.
Trudeau, who did not go to Congress to participate in the defense, told the media that the matter was very frustrating. He said that the speaker had admitted his mistake and apologized, but the incident was deeply embarrassing to both the Canadian parliament and the Canadian people. At the same time, he called for continued opposition to Russia's so-called "false propaganda information."
The speaker's spokesman explained to the media that Rota had not shared his invitation list with the prime minister's office or opposition parties before the event. Karina Gould, a Liberal lawmaker and leader of the government's House of Representatives, also denied prior government knowledge, but as a Jew she also said she felt hurt deeply.
Rota has yet to respond positively to calls for his resignation, and opposition parties may formally file a motion for the matter. Canada's current Congress resumed a week ago for its fall session. This turmoil is adding new variables to the offensive and defense of the government and the public. (End)