Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

New instructions coming soon after the Nazi veteran incident in September

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Greg Fergus was appointed Speaker of the House of Commons after the September incident. (Archive photo)

The Canadian Press

House of Commons Speaker Greg Fergus will attempt to implement new instructions regarding assembly guests after MPs stood up twice last September to applaud a man without knowing that he had fought for a Nazi unit during the Second World War.

A draft directive has been distributed to all parliamentary leaders and other agents of Parliament, said Mathieu Gravel, spokesperson for Greg Fergus.

The Comments will be incorporated before the president shares these instructions with members, he wrote in a statement.

House leaders did not provide details on the plan and Mr. Gravel admitted he could not say more at this time.

Yaroslav Hunka, who served in the Waffen-SS Galicia Division, a volunteer unit created by the Nazis to help fight the Soviet Union (USSR), was welcomed into the House of Commons to hear a speech by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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Liberal MP Anthony Rota , who had invited Mr. Hunka, 98, and presented him as a hero, resigned as Speaker of the House of Commons following the decision. Greg Fergus was elected to succeed him in October.

In his apology, Anthony Rota said that he was solely responsible for the invitation and that neither the prime minister's entourage nor the Ukrainian delegation were not aware of this. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also apologized on behalf of Parliament.

Senior Canadian politicians have called the episode an international embarrassment. Russia has also used the controversy to advance its propaganda seeking to legitimize its large-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Many MPs later expressed disgust at participating in the House's ovation for Yaroslav Hunka, while Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre called for hearings to determine how the invitation was made.

The Conservatives argued that the blame should have been placed solely in the Prime Minister's Office, saying the government had a responsibility to screen participants in such a high-profile event for security reasons.

One of the main functions of the House of Commons is to hold the government to account, said Steven Chaplin, who served as the House's chief legal adviser for 12 years.

Even if the sergeants-at-arms and protocol people knew this, all they could do is fight back. is informing MPs, because MPs control their own processes and how to resolve problems is up to the House and not the government, he said.

Independence of the Speaker of the House of Commons is enshrined in a memorandum of understanding presented by the Harper government following the 2014 gunman attack on the Hill of Parliament. A Parliamentary Protection Service, responsible for the physical security of the parliamentary precinct, was then formed.

However, the Protection Service does not #x27;only examines security threats, not political sensitivities, stressed Steven Chaplin.

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