A blacklist that resurfaces. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday, October 4, that his administration was considering declassify a list of former alleged collaborators of the Nazi regime having immigrated to Canada after the Second World War.
This reflection arises following a scandal that broke last week after a tribute to a former Nazi soldier was paid to the Canadian Parliament in the presence of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, visiting Canada.
“We have ensured that senior officials have looked at this issue very carefully, including digging into the archives” and making “recommendations to the responsible ministers”declared Justin Trudeau to the press.
In 1986, a public commission, known as the Deschênes commission, issued an independent report on the alleged presence of more than 800 Nazi war criminals in Canada, but had not released any names. Jewish organizations such as B’nai Brith and Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC), have lobbied to have the classified portion of the report now made public by the government.
Justin Trudeau’s apology after the scandal
Jagmeet Singh, leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP), a political group with which Justin Trudeau’s minority Liberals have an agreement to govern until 2025, said he was in favor of such declassification. But other officials raised possible difficulties related to Canadian laws particularly strict on the protection of privacy.
The idea of disclosing the names of former Nazi soldiers follows the scandal caused by the former Speaker of the House of Commons, which drew applause from Yaroslav Hunka, 98-year-old Ukrainian veteran accused of fighting in the SSpresenting him as a “Ukrainian hero”.
MPs from all parties, Justin Trudeau, his government and Volodymyr Zelensky, of Jewish faith, stood up to applaud the man, unaware of the details of his past. Under pressure from the opposition and the leaders of his clan, President Anthony Rota resigned and Justin Trudeau presented his “deepest apologies”.