Nipissing-Timiskaming MP and Speaker of the House has resigned.
He made the announcement in the House of Commons this afternoon.
“I must step down as your Speaker. I reiterate my profound regret for my error in recognizing an individual in the House,” Rota said.
“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. I accept full responsibility for my actions.”
It is not clear if Rota will also be resigning his seat as MP.
See: Will Rota resign?
Rota issued an apology in the House of Commons chamber for recognizing a Ukrainian, who is a North Bay resident and who fought for a Nazi unit in the Second World War. Rota invited the individual to Parliament Hill during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's visit to Ottawa on September 22.
See Rota apologize to the House of Commons here.
See the debate here.
Rota said he was resigning “with a heavy heart.”
Rota invited North Bay resident Yaroslav Hunka to Friday’s special parliamentary session in the House of Commons, where he recognized the 98-year-old as a “Ukrainian hero.”
Hunka served in the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the Nazi’s SS military unit.
Michael James Melnyk, author and historian living in England is an expert on this SS division. He's written a book called "The Galician Division."
In an email to BayToday he spoke of Hunka.
"In a letter to me dated 22 Sept 2015 he wrote; ‘ in my childhood and later (I) saw terrible atrocities committed on my people [Ukrainians] by ALL occupants, especially the Soviets! Especially in 1941 when they ran from the Germans. In the local prison they left hundreds of dead and not just killed, they were severely mutilated! Inhumanly! Most of them had body parts cut off like women’s beasts were missing. All that horror was put out for all to see and I was 16 [underlined] years old. [...] I hated everything Russian and still do! So I volunteered for the Division’.
"He did his basic training in 1943 in Heidelager and thereafter was sent to Munich for training with the anti-aircraft detachment in which he served until the end of the war."