Liberals: “Internet censorship has nothing to do with free speech”
Opposition MPs have enough votes to be able to reopen an investigation into why a security clearance was granted to two Chinese scientists at Canada’s top biological laboratory in Winnipeg, according to The Blacklock reporter.
The Liberals had gone to great lengths to block the investigation, they told MPs.
âIt’s incredible,â said Conservative MP GÃ©rard Deltell (Louis-St. Laurent, Quebec), opposition House leader.
âNever has a government been so low.
âThis concerns not only the members of the official opposition, but all the parliamentarians of this House. This government does not recognize that the House is more important than anything else when we talk about parliamentary democracy.
Chinese scientists, including an affiliate of the People’s Liberation Army, were fired on Jan. 20 from the Public Health Agency’s main research center, the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg. The shots followed a raid by the RCMP on the laboratory. Internal emails revealed that Chinese staff had collaborated on research with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where many believe COVID-19 originated.
The Public Health Agency has refused multiple orders to turn over documents in the case. On June 23, Cabinet went to Federal Court to seal cases under the National Security Evidence Act.
Conservative, Bloc, NDP and Green MPs said on Tuesday they would vote to reopen the investigation and force the disclosure of the much sought-after records.
âWe cannot leave things here,â said Bloc member Alain Therrien (La Prairie, Quebec).
âIt’s about accountability,â said NDP MP Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway).
âIt’s a question of transparency. It is a matter of respect for Parliament.
âIf a majority of MPs in this place vote to produce documents that they deem necessary to discharge their duty to the people they represent and who elected them here, that must be respected. This is so no matter how embarrassing or embarrassing a government of the day may find it. “
The PHA that operated the Winnipeg lab had three presidents in 13 months.
An executive, Iain Stewart, angered MPs during testimony on March 22 when he told the House of Commons Special Committee on Canada-China Relations that he was “not really free. to talk about “the reasons why Chinese scientists were hired and fired.
âMr. Stewart, has there ever been a case where a government lab fired scientists over security breaches?â Asked Conservative MP Garnett Genuis (Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.).
“It’s a very difficult question to answer,” replied Stewart.
âWell, I’m glad you have a fucking senior office in this country where you’re supposed to be accountable to parliamentarians and the people of Canada. Now answer that damn question.
Stewart refused and was subsequently found in contempt of the Commons, becoming the first public employee in 130 years to be censored on the House floor.