Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went back to a favourite playbook of his neo-liberal government, warning of the perils of “Russian disinformation” as his government is facing an international scandal over the invitation of a 98-year-old Ukrainian soldier who fought for Nazi Germany in World War II to a reception for President Volodymyr Zelensky at the Canadian parliament last week.
Continuing to refuse to acknowledge any guilt or involvement in the incident, in which he and President Zelensky gave former Waffen SS soldier Yaroslav Hunka a standing ovation, Justin Trudeau told reporters in Ottowa on Monday that it was “extremely upsetting that this happened” and that it was “deeply embarrassing to the parliament of Canada and by extension to all Canadians.”
Yet rather than taking responsibility, the Liberal prime minister warned of the potential use of the scandal by Moscow, saying: “I think it’s going to be really important that all of us push back against Russian disinformation and continue our steadfast unequivocal support for Ukraine.”
PM Trudeau reacts to a Nazi SS soldier being honoured in Parliament. He says the Speaker apologized and that it's "deeply embarrassing" for all Canadians.
— Rebel News (@RebelNewsOnline) September 25, 2023
The comments were likely in reference to the Kremlin’s stated invasion aim of “de-Nazification” of Ukraine, particularly the neo-Nazi-linked Azov Battalion, which the establishment media in the West has often overlooked in an apparent attempt to downplay so-called Russian propaganda.
Using the spectre of Russian disinformation is not a novel ploy from Trudeau’s government, with his Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland having previously attempted to use the same excuse when questions began to be raised about her grandfather.
Despite her office’s denials and claims of Russian disinformation, it was later confirmed that Freeland’s grandfather, Michael Chomiak was a Nazi propagandist for the Ukrainian daily newspaper Krakivs’ki Visti (Kraków News). It was also later revealed that Freeland was aware of her grandfather’s collaboration with Nazi Germany as early as 1996.
In what would be a stunning turn of events, some have noted — including veteran journalist and free speech advocate Glenn Greenwald — that under Canada’s strict censorship regime, for giving a standing ovation to the Nazi soldier, the members of the Canadian parliament, alongside Mr Trudeau and Zelensky, could fall afoul of laws against the “promotion of hatred” and the “promotion of antisemitism”, both of which carry sentences of up to two years in prison.
Could the Forever War addicts clown themselves any harder? https://t.co/igrGcMNMI3
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) September 24, 2023
Others have noted Trudeau’s previous role in spreading alleged disinformation, particularly his comments during the trucker “Freedom Convoy” against his coronavirus lockdown regime. Last year, the Liberal PM accused Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman — who is of Jewish heritage — of standing alongside “people who wave swastikas.” As independent journalist Matt Taibi noted, even the left-wing Snopes fact-checker acknowledged that such signs at the convoy were intended “as a way of mocking and protesting government restrictions.”
While the Speaker of the House, Anthony Rota — who hailed Hunka as a “hero” of both Canada and Ukraine — has claimed responsibility for inviting the Waffen-SS soldier to the parliament during Zelensky’s visit, Conservative opposition party leader Pierre Polievre claimed that Trudeau’s government is “responsible for arranging and vetting all guests and programming for state visits of this kind” and therefore must “personally apologise and avoid passing the blame to others as he always does.”
The Canadian government has also been called on to apologise from Jewish groups, as well as by the Polish Ambassador to the country, Witold Dzielski, who said that Warsaw “will never agree on whitewashing such villains,” noting that the Nazi division Hunka served in was “responsible for murdering thousands of Poles [and] Jews”.
— Andy Lee – Special Rebel Rapporteur (@RealAndyLeeShow) September 25, 2023
The 14th Waffen-SS Grenadier Division, also known as the Galicia Division, was largely comprised of Ukrainian volunteers to the Nazi cause of fighting the Soviet Union — which was allied with the Western Allied powers during the Second World War. While the Waffen-SS was charged with war crimes at the Nuremberg Trials, the 14th Division was not specifically charged. However, the Ukrainian Nazi division has been accused of numerous atrocities, including the massacre of the Huta Pieniacka, a Polish village that had served as a shelter for hundreds of Jews.
Hunka’s division was also personally addressed by the chief of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, who is said to have told the unit in 1944: “Your homeland has become more beautiful since you have lost – on our initiative, I must say – the residents who were so often a dirty blemish on Galicia’s good name – namely the Jews.
“I know that if I ordered you to liquidate the Poles, I would be giving you permission to do what you are eager to do anyway.”
The Liberals try to wipe Parliament honouring a Nazi from official House records.
— Rebel News (@RebelNewsOnline) September 25, 2023
In true Orwellian fashion, the governing Liberal party attempted to have the incident of inviting Hunka stricken from the parliamentary record and purged from any multimedia recordings.
The attempt was blocked, however, with Conservative MP Marty Morantz saying: “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. What happened on Friday was shameful and brought embarrassment to this chamber, it was an ugly reminder of what survivors of the Holocaust know too well that we must never forget.”
For inviting the Nazi soldier, Speaker of the House Anthony Rota has faced calls to resign from the left-wing New Democratic Party (NDP) and the leftist separatist Bloc Québécois party, however, the main opposition Conservative party has so far not backed the call, arguing instead that Prime Minister Trudeau should take responsibility for the scandal.
Speaker Pleads Ignorance After Leading Zelensky and Trudeau in Tribute to Nazi SS Soldier https://t.co/OqVELqpdZa
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 25, 2023