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Ottawa, Sep 28: Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, Anthony Rota, has announced his resignation from his post amid increasing pressure to step down. The decision comes after he faced criticism in the House of Commons for admitting a man who was a member of a Nazi SS unit during World War II.
In a brief statement delivered to a partially packed House, Rota expressed his decision to step down with a heavy heart. He said, “It is with a heavy heart that I stand to inform members of my resignation as Speaker of the House of Commons. The work of this House lies above any one of us. Therefore, I accept the resignation of your Speaker Must step down. I reiterate my deep regret for my mistake in identifying an individual in the House during (Ukrainian) President Zelensky’s joint address to parliament, the National Post reported.
Rota acknowledged that his public recognition of the man has caused pain to various communities, including the Jewish community in Canada and around the world, as well as survivors of Nazi atrocities in Poland and other countries. The controversy revolves around Rota honoring 98-year-old Ukrainian-Canadian Yaroslav Hanka. Hunka received a standing ovation from MPs and dignitaries in the House, but over the weekend, it was publicly revealed that he was serving in the 1st Ukrainian Division, also known as the Waffen-SS Galicia Division or the SS 14th Waffen Division. Known as -A voluntary unit under the command of the Nazis.
Taking full responsibility for his actions, Rota announced his resignation, effective as of the end of the day on Wednesday. In the interim, Deputy Speakers Chris D’Entremont and Alexandra Mendes will oversee House proceedings.
Breaking News: Anthony Rota has resigned as Speaker of the House in #Canada after the scandal involving the invitation of a Nazi to the Canadian Parliament.#Trudeau is in hiding again and sending out his PR staff to bear the heat.
However there is evidence emerging despite… pic.twitter.com/l7OZIzXtRi
— Jim Ferguson (@JimFergusonUK) September 26, 2023
Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre continued to hold Prime Minister Trudeau responsible for the incident and demanded a personal apology from Trudeau to Canadians. Poilievre criticized the authorities’ failure to properly investigate Yaroslav Hunka, calling it “a gross mpetence”. He emphasized that Trudeau was responsible for saving Ukrainian President Zelensky from this embarrassment.
Poilievre stressed that Canadians were frustrated with a prime minister who did not take responsibility for events occurring on his watch, including issues such as inflation rates, housing costs, and international embarrassment. He said Canada’s reputation had been significantly damaged, calling it “the biggest blow to Canada’s diplomatic reputation ever in its history” and that it occurred under the leadership of Justin Trudeau.