Senior Fellow in International Affairs
Ignoring the will of Parliament—What happened in a Manitoba virology lab?
It hasn’t happened in over 100 years in the House of Commons and it’s now setting up for a showdown between Parliament and the Courts. Who will come out on top?
This is a saga of twists and turns. Back in March, a House of Commons Committee asked the head of the Public Health Agency of Canada to produce documents regarding two Chinese scientists at the National Virology Lab in Winnipeg. It was unclear why the two scientists were escorted out of the building and dismissed.
The head of the Agency, Iain Stewart, refused as it could have potentially sensitive or injurious information. He was admonished in the House for the refusal, but it sparked a bizarre situation where the sitting Liberals are suing the Speaker of the House to keep those documents secret.
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a Party take the Speaker, who is also a member of the same party, to Court. It brings up a number of issues... Which is supreme, the courts or Parliament? As well, what we’re Chinese scientists working on at Winnipeg’s National Microbiology Laboratory and why it’s so secret as to their removal?
Our Unpublished.vote question asks:
Should the federal government respect the wishes of Parliament and provide the documents on the Chinese scientists?
You can log on and vote right now at Unpublished.vote!