OTTAWA - The Green Party of Canada welcomes Anthony Rota’s resignation from his position as Speaker of the House of Commons and calls on the next Speaker to clarify Parliamentary procedures around recognition.
In inviting Yaroslav Hunka to attend President Zelensky’s address to Parliament, Rota not only broke the rules he had established for recognition, but created an outrageous situation whereby Parliamentarians found themselves praising someone who fought with the Waffen-SS.
In so doing, he unwittingly delegitimized the courageous efforts of Ukrainians fighting to defend and restore their sovereignty from a brutal and illegal Russian aggression and disrespected survivors and victims of fascism worldwide.
The Speaker of the House must command the respect and trust of the Members and this trust has been irrevocably broken. Mr Rota took the right decision in leaving. It shouldn’t have taken this long.
Greens wish to emphasize that the role of Speaker is non-partisan. Mr Rota - a Liberal MP - was elected by secret ballot by all Members of Parliament. He was also the choice of the Conservatives. All ongoing partisan efforts by the Leader of the Official Opposition to politicize the role must be rejected.
Mr Rota served Parliament and Canada honourably until this tragic and unredeemable lack of judgement. In resigning the position, he protects the integrity of our institutions, which he unwittingly damaged.
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Fabrice Lachance Nové