Federal government refuses to release shared records of scientists discharged from infectious disease laboratory

Federal government refuses to release shared records of scientists discharged from infectious disease laboratory

The federal government has refused to comply with an order passed by the House last week demanding that all documents regarding the dismissal of two Chinese scientists from the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) in Winnipeg be released to the Commons Committee on Canada-China (CACN) documents to the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP).

During a trial before the CACN Monday night, Conservative MP John Williamson grilled Foreign Minister Marc Garneau on why the government decided to issue an order of Parliament must deliver the documents, ”which required the government to submit them to the committee within 48 hours.

“As a government, we have a responsibility to ensure that we do not disclose certain information that affects privacy, that affects commercial privacy, and that affects potential security implications,” Garneau said in response.

Meanwhile, it Minister of Health Patty Hajdu tell the House earlier Monday that it had sent unbroken copies to the NSICOP for review instead of the CACN because it is ‘the appropriate level of security’.

Conservatives call the move a ‘contempt of parliament’.

Epoch Times Photo
Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau speaks at a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, Iceland, on May 19, 2021. (Saul Loeb / Pool Photo via AP)

“It’s not a game. It is about the fundamental and ancient powers of the House of Commons to act as the great investigation into the country. It is openly defied, rejected and ridiculed by the Liberal government. It treats the house with contempt, “said Gérard Deltell, Conservative leader. said Monday in the House.

Conservative shadow foreign minister Michael Chong last week criticized the prime minister because he said the NSICOP was the right place to investigate the violations of national security at the laboratory, and said the committee was responding to the government, not the other way around, according to what is written in the law.

“When the government does not maintain national security, it must be held accountable. The government is accountable to the House of Commons. Therefore, these offenses should be investigated by the House, not by NSICOP, ”Chong wrote in a Twitter thread on June 1st.

The House Order on June 2 comes after the The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has twice failed to deliver documents regarding the firing of the two federal scientists from NML and the transmission of deadly viruses to China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology in March 2019.

The scientists, Xiangguo Qiu and Keding Cheng, and several Chinese students were deprived of their security access and accompany outside NML in July 2019 amid an RCMP investigation. Qiu, who sent the samples of deadly Ebola and Henipah viruses to China, traveled several times in an official capacity to the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory, which is part of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. She also has trained scientists and technicians there at level 4 standard that enables them to deal with the world’s deadliest viruses and pathogens.

The edited version of the documents (pdf) was announced Tuesday, and comes after the CACN voted in favor of a motion released Monday night. The motion states that he will continue to insist that the PHAC fully comply with the committee’s instructions to produce the unedited documents.