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"What happened on Friday is completely unacceptable. It was a disgrace to the House and to Canadians," said Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly, who was among those cheering the Nazi veteran.
The Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons, Anthony Rota, announced Tuesday his resignation from the post following the scandal over the tribute to a Nazi veteran in the local Parliament.
Rota told his parliamentary colleagues that his resignation will be effective late Wednesday. "It is with a heavy heart that I rise to inform members of my resignation as speaker of the House of Commons," he said, adding that "I accept full responsibility for my actions."
This follows controversy sparked after Prime Minister Trudeau, Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelenski, lawmakers and other guests gave a standing ovation to Yaroslav Hunka, a 98-year-old veteran who fought in the ranks of the Nazi 14th SS Grenadier Division against the Soviet Union during World War II.
On that occasion, Rota hailed Hunka as "a Ukrainian hero, a Canadian hero," who fought "for the independence of Ukraine against the Russians." Later, on September 24, he offered apologies for the invitation extended to the Ukrainian Nazi veteran to a legislative session. Rota stated that he "subsequently became aware of more information" that made him regret his comments about Hunka.
Zeee Media ��, [26/09/2023 à 21:30] Canadian House Speaker Anthony Rota resigns after honoring Yaroslav Hunka, a Nazi who fought with the 14th division of the Waffen SS against the Russians in Ukraine in WWll.
Earlier, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly called on Rota to listen to members of the House of Commons and resign. "What happened on Friday is completely unacceptable. It was an embarrassment to the House and to Canadians," Joly said in the wake of the Hunka scandal.
Joly was among those who gave the Ukrainian-Canadian a hero's ovation. In one of the images released by the media, the Foreign Minister is seen applauding alongside Prime Minister Trudeau, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenski, his wife and lawmakers.
Yaroslav Hunka had been a volunteer member of the 1st Waffen-SS Galician Division, which was responsible for the mass murder of Poles, Jews and Ukrainians in Ukraine and Poland, as well as committing other atrocities.
The event has been widely criticized around the world. It occurred during Zelensky's visit to Canada, a tour that saw him first address the United Nations and visit U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington.