House of Commons Speaker apologizes, urged to resign for Ukrainian Nazi unit tribute

House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota apologized again Monday for inviting and paying tribute to a Ukrainian Second World War veteran who fought for Nazi Germany and was present during Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit last week.

Rota, who said he regretted his decision and was “deeply sorry” for any hurt he caused, faced calls to resign from the role by the NDP.

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Karina Gould, the government leader in the House of Commons, said she would urge all members of the House to agree to strike the tribute from the formal records.

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But questions quickly emerged about how Hunka’s past was not identified by the government and security officials during vetting of who should be in the chamber during Zelenskyy’s visit.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office repeated Rota’s assertion that he alone invited Hunka.

“Parliament and the Speaker’s office is independent from the prime minister and the Prime Minister’s Office,” Mohammad Hussain told The Canadian Press Sunday.

“The Speaker had his own allotment of guest seating at Friday’s address, which were determined by the Speaker and his office alone.”

— with files from The Canadian Press

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