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Anthony Rota, leader of Canada’s House of Commons, resigned his post on Tuesday after he unknowingly honored a man who had fought for the Nazis in World War II.
House Speaker Anthony Rota removed himself from the powerful post with a brief statement to fellow lawmakers on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
“It’s with a heavy heart that I rise to inform members of my resignation as speaker of the House of Commons,” he said.
“The work of this House is above any of us, therefore I must step down as your speaker.”
Canadian lawmakers on Friday had honored Yaroslav Hunka, a 98-year-old who fought for Ukraine’s independence during World War II.
It later emerged that Hunka, who was given a standing ovation in the presence of visiting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, had in fact fought as part of a notorious Nazi unit.
In an apology on Sunday, Rota said he “subsequently became aware of more information” about Hunka’s past.
“I reiterate my profound regret for my error in recognizing an individual in the House during the joint address to Parliament of President Zelenskyy,” Rota said Tuesday.
“That public recognition has caused pain to individuals and communities including the Jewish community in Canada and around the world, in addition to survivors of Nazi atrocities in Poland among other nations.”
Rota’s resignation as leader of the House will become official at the of the day Wednesday.
“I accept full responsibility for my actions,” the outgoing leader said.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.