Canada House speaker resigns over inviting a man who fought with Nazis to parliament

The speaker of Canada's House of Commons Anthony Rota delivers a speech following an address by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, September 22, 2023. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP)
The speaker of Canada's House of Commons Anthony Rota delivers a speech following an address by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, September 22, 2023. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP)

The speaker of Canada’s House of Commons resigns for inviting a man who fought for a Nazi military unit during World War II to Parliament to attend a speech by the Ukrainian president.

Just after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered an address in the House of Commons on Friday, Canadian lawmakers gave 98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka a standing ovation when Speaker Anthony Rota drew attention to him. Rota introduced Hunka as a war hero who fought for the First Ukrainian Division.

It later was publicized that the First Ukrainian Division also was known as the Waffen-SS Galicia Division, or the SS 14th Waffen Division, a voluntary unit that was under the command of the Nazis.

Rota steps down after meeting with the House of Commons’ party leaders later today. All main opposition parties called for Rota to step down, and government House leader Karina Gould earlier said that she believes lawmakers have lost confidence in Rota.

Gould said Rota invited and recognized Hunka without informing the government or the delegation from Ukraine.

Yaroslav Hunka, right, waits for the arrival of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Ontario, September 22, 2023. (Patrick Doyle/The Canadian Press via AP)

Meanwhile, a Polish minister indicated that his country could seek to extradite Hunka for his crimes.

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