Canada Nazi row: Governor General apologises for honour given to man who fought in Waffen SS unit The governor general's office in Canada has issued an apology for honouring a man who fought in a Waffen SS unit during World War II. The controversy arose after it was revealed that Peter Savaryn was awarded the Order of Canada in 1987. The Waffen SS was the combat wing of the Nazi Party's SS organization. It played a key role in carrying out the Holocaust and other war crimes during World War II. Savaryn, who passed away in 2003 at the age of 81, is reported to have served in the Galicia Division of the Waffen SS. The Order of Canada is one of the country's highest civilian honors, awarded to individuals who have made a significant contribution to Canadian society. The decision to grant Savaryn the award has now been criticized, with many arguing that it was inappropriate to honor a former member of the Waffen SS. The governor general's office issued a statement expressing regret for the decision to award Savaryn the Order of Canada. It acknowledged the controversy surrounding his past and offered an apology to those who were offended or affected by the decision. "It is regrettable that the honour was awarded to Mr. Savaryn," the statement read. "The Order of Canada is intended to recognize outstanding contributions to the country, and the fact that he was a member of a unit involved in war crimes is in direct contradiction to the values it represents." The statement also emphasized that steps have been taken to ensure a similar mistake does not happen again in the future. The nomination and selection process for the Order of Canada has been strengthened to ensure that recipients are thoroughly vetted. The revelation of Savaryn's past has sparked a wider debate in Canada about how to address the country's historical connections to Nazi sympathizers. It raises questions about whether Canada has properly acknowledged and confronted its history of anti-Semitism and association with fascist ideology. There have been calls for a formal review of the honours system to identify and revoke any awards given to individuals with Nazi connections. Additionally, some are advocating for changes to the education curriculum to include a more thorough examination of Canada's role during World War II and its connection to Nazi ideology. The apology from the governor general's office is seen as a step in the right direction, but many argue that more needs to be done to address and rectify past mistakes. There are renewed calls for accountability and transparency in the honours system to ensure that individuals with problematic backgrounds are not celebrated or honored. This controversy also raises broader questions about the ethics of honoring individuals who have participated in war crimes or human rights abuses. It highlights the need for societies to critically examine the legacies of individuals and consider the implications of awarding them prestigious honors. The issue of Nazi sympathizers and war criminals receiving honors is not unique to Canada. Other countries have faced similar controversies, leading to calls for greater scrutiny and accountability in the honours process. It serves as a reminder of the importance of acknowledging and learning from historical mistakes to prevent them from being repeated in the future. As the debate continues in Canada, it remains to be seen what actions will be taken to address the issue of honoring individuals with Nazi connections. The apology from the governor general's office is a significant acknowledgment of the mistake, but it is only the first step towards rectifying a larger issue.
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