Shafaq News / The speaker of Canada’s Parliament faces growing calls to resign, after he honoured a man who fought in a Nazi unit during World War II as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the House of Commons last week.
Speaker Anthony Rota said this week that he was “deeply sorry” for inviting 98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka to Friday’s special parliamentary session, where he recognised Hunka as a “Ukrainian hero”.
“What happened on Friday is completely unacceptable,” Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly told reporters on Tuesday morning.
“It was an embarrassment to the House and to Canadians, and I think the speaker should listen to members of the House and step down.”
Hunka served in the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the Nazi’s SS military unit, said Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish community group.
He received standing ovations in the House of Commons, including from Zelenskyy and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who were in attendance.
But despite his apology, Rota faces growing pressure to step down, including from the progressive New Democratic Party (NDP).
“This was an unforgivable error that puts the entire House in disrepute, and unfortunately I believe a sacred trust has been broken,” said NDP House leader Peter Julian. “Sadly, I don’t believe you can continue in this role.”