OTTAWA – Today, House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota resigned from his position. This follows his invitation to, and recognition of, a man who fought for a Nazi unit in the Second World War during last week’s state visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
“I was horrified to learn of the situation that occurred in the House Chamber during President Zelenskyy’s visit,” said Carol Hughes, MP for Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing and Assistant Deputy Speaker in the House of Commons. “It is the Speaker’s duty to vet individuals being honoured in the House, and that work was clearly not done. The Speaker is the face of the House of Commons and must act beyond reproach.”
MP Hughes was not in the House of Commons at the time of Friday’s state visit due to prior commitments in the riding.
“I do want to thank Speaker Rota for his service,” said Hughes. “I’ve worked with him for a number of years, and have known him to be a decent, honourable man. I appreciated his apology for the incident on Monday, but this event made his ability to continue as Speaker untenable. His actions, regardless of intent, hurt Canadians, particularly Jewish Canadians and World War 2 veterans, as well as our international reputation.”
“I wish him well and thank him for making the right decision.”