Today at the Special Committee on Canada-China Relations – the discussion was about the motion requesting all information and documents in possession of the Public Health Agency of Canada or any subsidiary organizations “relating to the transfer of Ebola and Henipah viruses to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in March of 2019 and the subsequent revocation of security clearances for, and termination of the employment of, Dr. Xiangguo Qiu and Keding Cheng.”
For some reason, the Public Health Agency of Canada refused to provide the requested information and documents related to the transfer.
The motion requests that the documents be deposited with the Law clerk and Parliamentary counsel so that the law clerk can redact “all information that might reasonably be expected to compromise national security – or reveal details of an ongoing criminal investigation.” Essentially once the law clerk redacts any concerns of national security and or a potential ongoing criminal investigation – they can determine which documents can be made public.
The document also says that should the Public Health Agency of Canada not provide the documents in their unredacted form within the ten days (amended in committee to be 20 days and falls on April 20th) that the President of the Public Health Agency and acting Vice-President of the National Microbiology Lab be scheduled to appear for 3 hours before the committee. The committee is set to return on April the 20th.
Canadians deserve to know what happened with the firing of Chinese scientists from the National Microbiology Lab – this is paramount to national security. We must understand what these scientists were doing – why they were transferring the Ebola and Henipah viruses from Canada to China. Providing all the info and documents related to this transfer is not only the right thing to do – it’s important because our national security is potentially compromised.
As the CBC story on the transfer originally reported:
“We have a researcher who was removed by the RCMP from the highest security laboratory that Canada has for reasons that government is unwilling to disclose. The intelligence remains secret. But what we know is that before she was removed, she sent one of the deadliest viruses on Earth, and multiple varieties of it to maximize the genetic diversity and maximize what experimenters in China could do with it, to a laboratory in China that does dangerous gain of function experiments. And that has links to the Chinese military.”
So in essence the government is unwilling to disclose info on the transfer or the firings. The Public Health Agency of Canada is unwilling to provide the documents related to the incident – so all that is left is parliamentarian privilege demanding the documents for review. We can’t allow this to go by the wayside – a Chinese researcher sent a deadly virus from our highest secured lab so that a Chinese gain of function lab with links to the military could experiment with it – answers are needed and excuses shouldn’t be permitted. I’m sure the government would love if this story didn’t get attention again.
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