House Speaker Anthony Rota resigns over honouring man who fought for Nazis
House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota is resigning after he invited a man who fought for the Nazis to attend a speech that Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered to Canada's Parliament last week. The Liberal MP, who was first elected Speaker in December 2019, shared his decision ahead of question period in the House of Commons today, referring to his time in the role as "his greatest honour." All sides had called for Rota to resign after he invited and recognized in the House a Ukraine military veteran now living in Canada who had served in a Nazi unit during the Second World War. All members of Parliament stood and applauded 98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka, who lives in Rota's northern Ontario riding, without knowing the details of his past last Friday during the official visit by Zelenskyy. Rota, who as Speaker was tasked with remaining impartial and maintaining order in the House of Commons, has been facing international scrutiny over the controversy. Only two Speakers elected since Confederation have left partway through a parliamentary session, including one who died and another who was named governor general. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 26, 2023.