"In a few moments," Trudeau began, "I will address the House in front of all Canadians, in front of Jewish people here and around the world and Ukrainians to offer Parliament's unreserved apologies for what happened on Friday."
Parliament gave Hunka two standing ovations, and it was later realized that Hunka had been an enemy of Canada during World War II, and was fighting against the Soviet Union, which was allied with Canada, the US, and Great Britain against German aggression. Zelensky, Trudeau, and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland all put their hands together for Hunka, who was very emotional at being honored.
"The Speaker was solely responsible for the invitation and recognition of this man and he wholly accepted that responsibility and stepped down. This was a mistake that has deeply embarrassed Parliament, and Canada," he continued.
Rota had issued his own apology, saying "On September 22, in the House of Commons, I recognized an individual in the gallery. I have subsequently become aware of more information which causes me to regret my decision to do so. I wish to make clear that no one, including fellow parliamentarians and the Ukraine delegation, was aware of my intention or of my remarks before I delivered them," he added. "This initiative was entirely my own, the individual in question being from my riding and having been brought to my attention. I particularly want to extend my deepest apologies to Jewish communities in Canada and around the world. I accept full responsibility for my actions," Rota concluded.
"All of us who were in this House on Friday," Trudeau continued, "regret deeply having stood and clapped. Even though we did so unaware of the context. It was a horrendous violation of the memory of the millions of people who died in the Holocaust. It was deeply, deeply painful for Jewish people." Many Jewish groups came out and unequivocally condemned the actions of Parliament.
"It also hurt Polish, Roma people, 2SLGBTQI+ people, disabled people, racialized people, and the many millions who were targeted by the Nazi genocide," Trudeau said. "Every year, there are fewer and fewer Holocaust survivors to share firsthand the horrors of what they experienced. And it is therefore incumbent upon us all to ensure that no one ever forgets what happened."
He also apologized to Ukraine for honoring the 98-year-old Ukrainian veteran, though Zelensky praised and applauded him along with the rest. Zelensky, of all those present, was probably in the best position to realize that a Ukrainian veteran from World War II likely fought against Russia and against the Allied forces.
"I also want to reiterate how deeply sorry Canada is for the situation this put President Zelensky and the Ukrainian delegation in. It is extremely troubling to think that this egregious error is being politicized by Russia and its supporters to provide false propaganda about what Ukraine is fighting for," Trudeau said. Russia has said that among their goals are the "denazification" of Ukraine.
"Friday's joint session was about what Canada stands for, about our steadfast support of Ukraine's fight against Putin's brutality, lies and violence. It was a moment to celebrate and acknowledge the sacrifices of Ukrainians as they fight for their democracy, their freedom, their language and culture and for peace. This is the side Canada was on in World War II. This is the side we are on today."
In previous comments on Monday, Trudeau said that "The speaker has acknowledged his mistake, and has apologized, but this is something that is deeply embarrassing to the Parliament of Canada and by extension to all Canadians. I think particularly of Jewish MPs and all members of the Jewish community across the country are celebrating Yom commemorating Yom Kippur today."
He further said that "I think it's going to be really important that all of us push back against Russian propaganda," Trudeau said, pivoting to a total non sequitur, "Russian disinformation and continue our steadfast and unequivocal support for Ukraine, as we did last week, with announcing further measures to stand with Ukraine in Russia's illegal war against it."
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