Liberals, Socialists and other progressives often claim that Conservatives are in bed with the far right and Nazis. This repulsive term is sometimes used to describe Conservatives themselves.
Well, that’s not going to work anymore. The political left can thank Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberals for this after they unwittingly honoured a Nazi in Parliament.
Yes, you read this correctly. An actual Nazi was honoured in Canada’s House of Commons.
And on the eve of Yom Kippur, to boot.
How on earth did this happen?
Anthony Rota, the Speaker of the House, recognized one of his constituents, 98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka, who was honoured during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Sep 22 visit. Rota depicted Hunka as a “Ukrainian Canadian war veteran from the Second World War who fought for Ukrainian independence against the Russians,” and also called him “a Ukrainian hero, a Canadian hero, and we thank him for all his service.”
Here’s the problem. Hunka served in the unit which was renamed the First Ukrainian Division towards the end of the Second World War. That particular division is more well known under its previous names as either the SS Galicia Division or 14th Waffen-Grenadier SS Division. It was a voluntary unit that was under the command of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany, and was accused of murdering innocent Jews and Poles.
Hunka received a standing ovation in the House. It’s on the record. It will always be available on YouTube and other video clips. There’s no way for the Trudeau Liberals to ever escape it.
Rota and his staff clearly had no idea there was a link between the First Ukrainian Division and the Nazis before inviting Hunka. They didn’t check his background, or perform a simple Google search. The Speaker’s apology on Sep 24, in which he stated “I have subsequently become aware of more information which causes me to regret my decision to do so,” was thin gruel and far too late to have any meaningful effect.
Here are a couple of other “gems” from this disaster.
Theresa Hunka, Yaroslav’s granddaughter, posted a photo on Facebook with the following caption: “Dedo is waiting in the reception hall for Trudeau and Zelensky.” Quite a few people posted screen grabs of this image. It’s currently unclear if the Canadian PM greeted him, and what was briefly discussed before he was honoured.
Government House Leader Karina Gould also made this post on X on Sept. 24, “The Speaker has made it clear that he was responsible for inviting this individual to the House. The government played no role. It did not know he would be there. The PM did not meet him. I am deeply troubled this happened. I urge MPs to avoid politicizing this incident.”
Shortly thereafter, screen grabs of a photo taken with Rota and Hunka that she posted began to circulate online. Her response in part?
“As a descendent of Jewish Holocaust survivors I would ask all parliamentarians to stop politicizing an issue troubling to many, myself included.”
As if this was going to protect her tarnished public image in some fashion.
Long story short, the Liberals didn’t vet Hunka’s military service properly – or at all. This includes the House Speaker’s office, the Prime Minister’s Office and any other ministers who were privy to this invitation. Their staff members are on the payroll for a reason. They all failed miserably.
As for Trudeau, he wouldn’t have had the slightest clue about this. He has no sense of history, and barely knows anything about anything. That’s the reason I’ve repeatedly called him a mediocre and ineffective Prime Minister, as well as a national and international embarrassment. Others have, too. It’s not political hyperbole, it’s fact.
Here’s another fact. A war monument dedicated to the First Ukrainian Division was defaced in the St Volodymyr Ukrainian cemetery in Oakville, Ontario in July 2020. It was originally treated as a “hate-motivated” incident by police. Jewish groups and human rights advocates were furious, as they are today with the Hunka revelation. The international media covered it from end to end. Yet, no Liberal made the connection to this Nazi-aligned volunteer unit that was in the news only three years ago.
Here’s yet another fact. The Canadian government’s blunder played right into the waiting hands of Vladimir Putin and Russia.
“Such sloppiness of memory is outrageous,” Kremlin spokesman Dimitry Peskov told reporters. “Many Western countries, including Canada, have raised a young generation that does not know who fought whom or what happened during the Second World War. And they know nothing about the threat of fascism.”
That’s certainly a case of the pot calling the kettle black, but I digress.
Mistakes are made in politics. We know this. At the same time, Canada’s Liberals have made the political blunder to end all political blunders. It’s time for them to go.
Michael Taube was a speechwriter for former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper