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Canada parliament's speaker resigns after praising Nazi soldier in parliament

Photo: Reuters

Anthony Rota, the speaker of Canada's House of Commons, recognized Yaroslav Hunka last Friday as a "Ukrainian hero and a Canadian hero," adding that "we thank him for his service."

Hunka received two standing ovations from Canadian legislators and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who delivered a speech in parliament on that day. Hunka graciously acknowledged the applause from the gallery with a salute and a wave. However, it soon became known that Hunka had served in the Waffen-SS Galicia Division, a Nazi military unit, during World War II.

In response to this revelation, Rota, who represents Hunka's constituency, issued an apology for inviting Hunka to parliament.

Canada's Foreign Minister has publicly demanded the resignation of the Speaker of the House of Commons following his expression of praise for a former Nazi soldier within the parliamentary chambers.

Mélanie Joly, addressing reporters prior to a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, remarked that the speaker's actions were deeply embarrassing for both the House of Commons and the Canadian people. She expressed her belief that the Speaker should heed the concerns of fellow House members and resign. It's noteworthy that she is the first member of the Liberal cabinet to make such a call for Mr. Rota's resignation.

Following the controversy, Speaker Mr. Rota has indeed decided to resign.

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