In an unprecedented and troubling move, the Liberal party of Canada is suing the speaker of the House of Commons of Canada. The party led by prime minister Justin Trudeau is trying to prevent the release of key documents related to the firing of two scientists from Winnipeg’s National Microbiology Laboratory who have connections to the Chinese government.
In July 2019, two employees of the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg were escorted out of the lab and had their security clearance revoked.
Dr. Xiangguo Qiu, her husband Keding Cheng and some chinese students were all barred from the lab in highly unusual circumstances.
Dr. Qiu, while working at the lab, sent samples of key viruses to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.
Qiu is listed as an inventor on two patents filed by the Chinese communist government in Beijing in 2017 and 2019. According to Canadian law, civil servants must ask the minister they report to in order to be able to file any patent outside the country.
It later was revealed that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) had been investigating the Chinese nationals. The couple was fired following a CSIS intervention.
Recently, the Trudeau government has vehemently opposed the release of any information regarding the incident. Opposition parties are trying to determine what the government knew and whether it acted properly, but at every step and request, the Liberal government imposed roadblocks.
On June 2, 2021, the House passed a motion requesting the government to provide documents regarding the reasons for the highly unusual 2019 firings at the Winnipeg lab.
The documents were to be provided unredacted to the House’s Special Committee on Canada-China Relations.
The Trudeau government refused to provide the documents. The House Speaker ruled that the Trudeau liberals breached parliamentary privilege.
As the opposition kept requesting the key documents, the Trudeau liberals entrenched themselves in their opacity, taking the unprecedented step of suing the speaker of the House to prevent the eventual disclosure of the documents.
It is unclear what the Trudeau government is intent on hiding with their stern opposition to transparency in this case.