Political gaffe sparks apology

Prime Minister Trudeau apologized September 27 after a Nazi-allied war veteran was formally recognized by then House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota during last week’s visit by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Embarrassed at home and abroad, the PM also said the government had reached out diplomatically to Ukraine. [node:read-more:link]

Who is Yaroslav Hunka?

A 98-year-old Ontario resident is at the heart of a domestic and international political outcry about his Second World War involvement in Nazi Germany’s battle with Russia. The core of the debate is whether Yaroslav Hunka was a patriot or a war criminal who could be extradited. [node:read-more:link]

House Speaker resigns

Antony Rota, the Ontario Liberal MP who has served as Speaker of the House of Commons since 2019, announced today that he is resigning. All parties had sought his resignation after he had lauded a constituent during Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy’s visit to Parliament last week. Yaroslav Hunka, 98, had served in a Nazi division during the Second World War and while Rota apologized, that wasn’t enough. [node:read-more:link]

Poland seeking extradition

Polish Education Minister Przemysław Czarnek said today that he has “taken steps” to having a 98-year-old Ukrainian-Canadian extradited for trial. Yaroslav Hunka, a member of a Nazi division during the Second World War, came into the spotlight last week when he was recognized as a “hero” by House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota, his Ontario MP. [node:read-more:link]

Apology over former Nazi

House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota apologized September 23 for honouring an Ontario man who fought in a Nazi unit during the Second World War. After human rights groups denounced his recognition of Ukrainian expatriate Yaroslav Hunka as a “hero” during Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy’s visit to Parliament, Rota said he was unaware of his constituent’s history. [node:read-more:link]

No end in sight to Ukraine war

Pointing out that “most wars last longer than expected,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg predicts that “we must prepare ourselves for a long war in Ukraine.” He also said that if Ukraine stops fighting, it would “no longer exist” but if Russia stops, “we will have peace.” [node:read-more:link]

Battle of Medak Pocket Remembered

In 1993, Canadian soldiers faced what is considered by many to be the toughest and largest-scale action faced by our troops during the half-century between the Korean War and Canada’s mission in Afghanistan. Today, we commemorate their sacrifice and their intense commitment to peace and security.  [node:read-more:link]

Papal exhortation backlash

The Vatican tried today to quell an international uproar after Pope Francis praised Russia’s imperialist past, insisting that he did not intend to encourage Russian aggression in Ukraine. “You are the heirs of the great Russia,” the Pope had told Russia Catholics during a videoconference. “Never forget this inheritance.” [node:read-more:link]

Vimy Memorial vandalized

That the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in northern France, which bears the names of thousands of Canadian troops who died in the First World War, was vandalized with graffiti earlier this week. “I was appalled,” Veterans Affairs Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor said August 16, condemning “all reprehensible acts of vandalism against cenotaphs, war memorials and other landmarks built to remember and honour the sacrifices made by Canadians in the name of peace.” [node:read-more:link]

Remembering the Battle of Amiens

The 105th anniversary of the Battle of Amiens is acknowledged today. This crucial engagement opened the door to victory in the final phase of the First World War. It was the start of three months of stunning battlefield achievements that became known as “Canada’s Hundred Days,” where the actions of our soldiers helped define the Canadian Corps as one of the most effective fighting forces on the Western Front. [node:read-more:link]

A Child of War

Freelance historian Karen Storwick and her research team, Wartime Friends, were working on a very important project about a little boy who had been found after a wartime battle in Italy. He was cared for by Canadian soldiers after it was determined that he was homeless. It's an incredible story. [node:read-more:link]

Is neutrality a viable doctrine?

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted Finland and Sweden to seek NATO membership, leaving only a handful of European states claiming neutrality. There are questions about how their doctrines can be sustained without them becoming a security risk because of the likelihood that major powers could be less inclined to respect their neutrality. [node:read-more:link]

China-Russia power shift

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyden said today that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s exploitation of his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin has reversed their countries’ power balance. “Far from being put off by the atrocious and illegal invasion of Ukraine, President Xi is maintaining his ‘no-limits friendship with Putin’s Russia,” the German politician said. “But there has been a change of dynamic in the relationship.” [node:read-more:link]

Foreign war memorials upkeep costs

Canada’s budget for maintaining 15 overseas war memorials, some nearly 100 years old, is $11.7 million over six years. Veterans Affairs Minister Laurence MacAuley said February 17 that most of the money is spent in France on the Vimy Memorial and the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial. [node:read-more:link]