The recent incident involving a former Waffen SS Nazi receiving a standing ovation in the Canadian parliament has sparked controversy and raised questions about Canada’s history of covering for Nazis. The incident occurred during Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s visit to Canada, when House Speaker Anthony Rota praised Yaroslav Hunka, a World War II-era Nazi, calling him “a Ukrainian hero, a Canadian hero” and thanking him for his service.
Two days later, Rota issued an apology for his remarks, stating that he had become aware of Hunka’s service as a voluntary member of the 1st Galician Division of the Waffen SS, a unit accused of mass murdering Poles, Jews, and Ukrainians. Rota claimed to be unaware of Hunka’s Nazi past, but his earlier praise of Hunka’s fight “for Ukrainian independence against the Russians” suggests otherwise.
The Canadian government, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office, denied any knowledge of Hunka and his Nazi service. However, given that Zelensky, a visiting president, was speaking in parliament, it seems unlikely that anyone could enter without thorough pre-screening. This raises the question of why Hunka and other suspected war criminals and collaborators were never brought to justice.
It is worth noting that Canada has a history of accepting Ukrainian Nazis as anti-communist refugees after World War II, with little to no scrutiny. These individuals have been allowed to live out their lives in peace, often openly under their own names. The Simon Wiesenthal Center has repeatedly reported on these individuals and their activities.
Furthermore, Canada has supported and even trained modern-day Nazis in Ukraine. The Canadian Armed Forces reportedly contributed to the training of soldiers from the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, a unit that has described itself as Nazi and has been accused of pro-Nazi sentiments.
Canada’s history with Ukrainian Nazis extends beyond accepting refugees and supporting modern-day extremists. The government-backed Ukrainian Canadian Congress has listed Nazi-collaborator veterans organizations as members, and government-funded Ukrainian ‘youth centers’ have celebrated Nazi collaborators. Monuments honoring Nazi collaborators and Ukrainian Insurgent Army criminals can still be found in Canadian cities.
Canada’s support for Nazis and their glorification is not limited to Ukraine. The country, along with the US and Ukraine itself, has repeatedly refused to support UN resolutions against Nazism, neo-Nazism, and racial discrimination. These resolutions have been supported by the majority of member states, with the exception of Kiev’s Western backers and their allies.
The incident in the Canadian parliament, while shocking, is not entirely surprising given Canada’s history and current support for extremists. The initial outrage may eventually fade, but the underlying issue of Canada’s support for these ideologies remains. As long as these individuals can be used against perceived adversaries, such as Russia, it appears that Canada will continue to cover for, support, and ignore the resurgence of one of history’s most atrocious ideologies.
Ukrainian President Zelensky praised Canada for being on the “bright side of history,” but Canada’s actions, including its involvement in the destruction of Libya and indirect support for terrorists in Syria, raise questions about this assertion. The situation raises concerns about Canada’s definition of the bright side of history and its willingness to support and overlook the actions of Nazis for its own geopolitical interests.
In conclusion, the recent incident in the Canadian parliament has shed light on Canada’s history of covering for Nazis, from World War II to present-day Ukraine. The incident has sparked outrage and raised questions about why these individuals were never brought to justice. It has also highlighted Canada’s support for and involvement with modern-day Nazis in Ukraine. Whether Canada will change its stance and take a firm stance against these ideologies remains to be seen.