Justin Trudeau apologizes after Canada's parliament gave World War II Nazi a standing ovation
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Last week, a Ukrainian man who fought for a Nazi unit in World War Two was invited to Canada's parliament during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's visit to the country.
Yaroslav Hunka was singled out by House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota, who called him a ‘hero’, as per The Guardian.
Hunka received a standing ovation from the parliament after he was introduced.
Mr Rota has since revealed that he didn’t know Hunka allegedly fought with the Nazis.
“In my remarks following the address of the President of Ukraine, I recognised an individual in the gallery. I have subsequently become aware of more information which causes me to regret my decision to do so,” he said earlier today (September 26).
"This initiative was entirely my own...I particularly want to extend my deepest apologies to Jewish communities in Canada and around the world.”
Canada's Leader of Opposition Pierre Poilievre was quick to condemn the act and called out the Prime Minister's ‘appalling error in judgment’, as per Times of Israel.
He added the ‘personal protocol office is responsible for arranging and vetting all guests and programming for state visits of this kind’.
He demanded that the leader of the country ‘personally apologize.’
The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies also issued a statement pointing out that Hunka served in the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, a Nazi military unit responsible for the mass murder of innocent civilians.
They added the recognition in parliament was ‘shocking’ and ‘incredibly disturbing’.
“An apology is owed to every Holocaust survivor and veteran of the Second World War who fought the Nazis, and an explanation must be provided as to how this individual entered the hallowed halls of Canadian Parliament and received recognition from the Speaker of the House and a standing ovation,” it said in a statement.
BBC News reported that the Prime Minister has since apologized, describing the mishap as ‘extremely upsetting’ to reporters.
"This is something that is deeply embarrassing to the parliament of Canada and by extension to all Canadians,” he said.
Subsequently, many are calling for Mr Rota to resign.
ABC News reported that Peter Julian, the New Democratic Party House leader, and Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet agreed the House of Commons Speaker should step down.
“For the good of the institution of the House of Commons ... I don’t believe you can continue in this role,” Julian said. “Regrettably I must respectfully ask that you step aside.”