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Canadian PM Justin Trudeau Apologizes for Honoring WWII Veteran with Troubling Past

Tuesday, September 26, 2023 • Tamil Comments
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is under fire for giving a standing ovation to a 98-year-old Nazi soldier in the House of Commons last week. Anthony Rota called Yaroslav Hunka a "Ukrainian hero and a Canadian hero" and praised him for his service. On Sunday, Rota apologized for Hunka's Nazi service after it drew concerns from a Jewish human rights group. He said Hunka is from his district and that Parliament and the Ukraine delegation were unaware of his recognition.

The opposition still kept Justin Trudeau on the hook, despite his apology. Pierre Poilievre, Canada's opposition leader, blamed and accused Trudeau of meeting and honouring Hunka. According to Poilievre, Trudeau's was an "appalling error in judgment" and that the prime minister's personal protocol staff schedules and reviews all state visit guests and programming.

The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre demanded an apology as well as an explanation for Hunka's parliamentary entry. They were alarmed by how the Canadian Parliament praised a Waffen-SS member who killed Jews and others.

Russia, too, has asked for clarifications. The Russian embassy in Canada is going to write to Trudeau as well as the foreign ministry in order to obtain an explanation from them.

The scandal has raised questions as to how Hunka was honoured without his military past and highlighted the need for more detailed vetting of Canadian Parliament guests.

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