The University of Alberta has announced it has returned a $30,000 endowment made in the name of a former Nazi unit veteran who was inadvertently honoured in the House of Commons.
“After careful consideration of the complexities, experiences, and circumstances of those impacted by the situation, we have made the decision to close the endowment and return the funds to the donor. The university recognizes and regrets the unintended harm caused,” the university said in a statement on Sept. 27.
On Sept. 22, during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to Parliament in Ottawa, speaker of the House Anthony Rota recognized a former member of Waffen SS, a Nazi division accused of war crimes during World War II. Mr. Rota called Yaroslav Hunka a “Ukrainian hero, a Canadian hero, and we thank him for all his service,” before all MPs in the House gave him a standing ovation.
Mr. Rota subsequently apologized for recognizing Mr. Hunka in Parliament and resigned from his role as Speaker of the House on Sept. 26.