Canada is facing criticism from Canadian Jewish organizations and social media critics for applauding a man with connections to the Nazis in its Parliament during a visit by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Canadian nonprofit dedicated to Holocaust education, expressed their dismay, stating, “FSWC is deeply troubled that Canada’s Parliament gave a standing ovation to a Ukrainian veteran who served in a Nazi military unit during World War II, implicated in the mass murder of Jews and others. An apology and an explanation are necessary.”
Video footage and photos from the event show the Canadian Parliament erupting into cheers during Zelenskyy’s visit to Ottawa. During this event, Canadian lawmakers also honored Yaroslav Hunka, a 98-year-old Ukrainian immigrant who served in the First Ukrainian Division, also known as the Waffen-SS Galicia Division, a paramilitary unit under the Nazis’ Schutzstaffel organization.
House Speaker Anthony Rota praised Yaroslav Hunka as a “Ukrainian hero” during the Parliament session, which was attended by Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Justin Trudeau, both of whom joined in the applause.
Subsequently, the Speaker of Canada’s House of Commons issued an apology for his remarks, acknowledging the controversy surrounding Hunka’s past affiliation with a Nazi unit during World War II. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy were present during the apology.