Sep 26, 2023
By Jane Brown
We are learning more about how an elderly Ukrainian man who fought with the Nazis came to be celebrated in the House of Commons Friday during a visit by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
A published report says the RCMP and the Parliamentary Protective Services do not do background checks on people attending events in Parliament.
It goes on to say security staff on the Hill check for names and invitations against a master guest list supplied by the House of Commons or the government, and physically screen arrivals to make sure they don’t have weapons or other dangerous objects.
Commons Speaker Anthony Rota has accepted full blame for the spectacle of a packed Canadian parliament applauding a man who fought for the Nazis.
Liberal MP and House Leader Karina Gould, who is a descendant of Holocaust survivors, called the situation deeply embarrassing for Canada and called on all parties to agree to remove the recognition of Yaroslav Hunka from the official record of the House of Commons.
Gould also expressed deep disappointment in the speaker’s decision.
“I would say as parliamentarians we place our trust in you,” Gould said to Rota Monday in the Commons, “There are many times when we recognize people in the gallery and we do so on your good advice and your good and your good offices, and all of us here did that in the chamber on Friday because we trusted you on that.”
The New Democrats and Bloc Quebecois MPs are calling for Rota to resign, while the Opposition Conservatives are demanding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau personally apologize for the episode.