Friday, June 25, 2021

Trudeau gov't sues to keep info from Parliament

Trudeau suing the House of Commons to keep lab firings secret | Toronto Sun - Brian Lilley: 

June 24, 2021 - "On Wednesday, the Trudeau government filed a lawsuit against the Speaker of the House of Commons in Federal Court. The reason for the lawsuit is to have the court issue an order sealing documents demanded by the House through a vote earlier this month.

"The Commons committee on Canada-China relations has been asking for documents related to the firing of Dr. Xiangguo Qiu and her husband, Keding Cheng from the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg. The pair, along with a group of students from China, were escorted out of the lab in July 2019 and their security clearance was revoked.... In January 2021, it was revealed that the pair were fired after an intervention from CSIS.

"While still at the lab, Dr. Qiu was involved in shipping samples of the Ebola and Henipah viruses to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. There was also the sharing of other information between the lab [and] the Wuhan Institute.

"This week the National Post reported Dr. Qiu is listed as one of the inventors on two patents filed in Beijing by the Chinese government in 2017 and 2019 related to the Ebola and Marburg viruses. It is illegal for Canadian civil servants to file a patent outside the country without permission from the minister they report to....

"After [the government] ignoring several requests from the committee to turn over documents, the House of Commons voted last week to order the papers released. When the government refused once again the Commons did something not seen since 1913, summoning civil servant Iain Stewart, the president of the Public Health Agency of Canada, to be denounced by the House and to hear the demand for the papers once again. After refusing to follow the will of Parliament, the Trudeau Liberals are taking Parliament itself and the Speaker to court to keep these documents secret. 

"The government’s claim is that they can’t release the documents due to national security concerns, but ... [t]he committee asked for the papers to be turned over to the Commons Law Clerk who would ensure sensitive information was removed before the documents were released to the committee behind closed doors. This would not result in documents related to national security being posted on a website, but the government still fights to keep everything secret....

"The Trudeau Liberals aren’t looking for compromise, they aren’t looking to work with elected officials. In going to court, the Trudeau government is showing that they want to reject the will of Parliament, to rule without oversight and trample on the longstanding rights and privileges of MPs. If the judge hearing the case knows anything about the law, he’ll reject the government’s request and send the issue back to the Commons where it belongs."

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