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NDP calls on House speaker to resign over invitation to Nazi war veteran

By The Canadian Press

NDP House leader Peter Julian is calling on House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota to step down after he invited a man who fought for the Nazis to attend a speech by the Ukrainian president.

Apologizing in the House on Monday, Rota says he alone was responsible for inviting and recognizing Yaroslav Hunka, who fought for the First Ukrainian Division.

Government House leader Karina Gould called the move, which had prompted a standing ovation from MPs in the House of Commons, “deeply embarrassing” and is seeking to strike it from the record.

Gould says neither the government of Canada nor the Ukrainian delegation had any knowledge of Hunka’s invitation.

Conservative House leader Andrew Scheer is still placing the blame with the Prime Minister’s Office, saying the government had a responsibility to vet attendees of such a high-profile event for security reasons.

Julian told the House that Rota’s was an “unforgivable” error that broke a “sacred trust,” and that the Speaker should step aside for the good of the institution.

Several Jewish advocacy organizations have also condemned MPs for giving a standing ovation to the 98-year-old man who fought for a Nazi unit during the Second World War.

In a second written statement released late Sunday, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre laid the blame at the feet of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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

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