Just when you think things can’t get worse for Canada on the world stage, they do. A week ago, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau torched our country’s relationship with India, bringing a smile to the face of Chinese President Xi Jinping. This week, he’s got Russian President Vladimir Putin doing the happy dance after House Speaker Anthony Rota feted a Nazi during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to Ottawa last Friday.
Putin’s propaganda about “denazifying Ukraine” thus got a major boost, complete with slo-mo video footage of our MPs rising to their feet to applaud a beaming Yaroslav Hunka, who served in the SS 14th Waffen Division, which committed numerous atrocities against Poles during the Second World War.
Meanwhile, our Five Eyes allies are scratching their heads in frustration, wondering how a middle power can make such a spectacular mess. At a time when tensions are running higher than they have since the Cold War, when Europe is once again engulfed in conflict and when Russia and China are seeking to impose an autocratic world order, along comes Canada and lends them a helping hand.
“The Speaker has acknowledged his mistake and has apologized,” said Trudeau after Rota’s gaffe was revealed. “But this is something that is deeply embarrassing to the Parliament of Canada and by extension to all Canadians.”
Mistakes do happen. But it’s what happens next that matters most. And that’s where this government has failed, again, and let its allies down in the process.