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MPs reading secret documents endangers ‘national security’

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Government House leader Mark Holland believes allowing MPs to read top secret documents on the firing of Chinese scientists at a federal lab would endanger “our national security.”

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Holland made this comment Tuesday, noting the Cabinet has defied multiple orders from the House of Commons to allow review of internal records detailing the dismissals that occurred Jan. 20, 2021.

In a letter addressed to MPs of the Opposition, Holland stated protecting national security “is a fundamental principle we must all respect whether it involves hundreds of pages or thousands of pages.”

“It is this principle that should matter to us all,” said Holland, as reported by Blacklock’s Reporter .

According to Blacklock’s Reporter , the People’s Liberation Army-associated scientists and researchers were turfed after an RCMP raid of the Public Health Agency’s National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg. By order of the Commons health committee, internal emails revealed the researchers were in direct contact with the Whan Institute of Virology in China — where many believe COVID-19 originated.

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Multiple orders to surrender documents pertaining to this case were refused by the Public Health Agency. On June 23, Cabinet went to Federal Court to seal the records under the Evidence Act.

Citing newspaper column, Holland documented support of Cabinet’s refusal to allow MPs to read the documents, which indicated how the scientists were granted a security clearance and why cops raided the facility in Winnipeg.

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It’s been noted that no MPs have asked for the records to be made public.

In his letter, Holland wrote there would be dangerous consequences if the documents were released. One specific document he noted, appeared “innocuous” and could lead to the unmasking of a protected foreign source should it be released.

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“Potential sources with knowledge of violent extremism within Canada could be reluctant to share information with security agencies if they fear being identified,” said Holland.

During committee testimony on June 18, 2021, then-Public Health Agency Iain Stewart stated agency managers were scared of personal consequences if MPs knew about the documented facts. Stewart testified he worried about personal immunity if the documents were released.

During a Special Commons Committee hearing on Canada-China Relations, MPs were angered over Stewart’s refusal to answer queries.

Conservative MP Michael Chong determined the fired scientists had authored “at least six studies from 2016 to 2020,” noting “we know some of the research was paid for by China’s government and that some of these scientists were part of China’s military.”

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Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.


Article content

Government House leader Mark Holland believes allowing MPs to read top secret documents on the firing of Chinese scientists at a federal lab would endanger “our national security.”

Advertisement

Article content

Holland made this comment Tuesday, noting the Cabinet has defied multiple orders from the House of Commons to allow review of internal records detailing the dismissals that occurred Jan. 20, 2021.

In a letter addressed to MPs of the Opposition, Holland stated protecting national security “is a fundamental principle we must all respect whether it involves hundreds of pages or thousands of pages.”

“It is this principle that should matter to us all,” said Holland, as reported by Blacklock’s Reporter .

According to Blacklock’s Reporter , the People’s Liberation Army-associated scientists and researchers were turfed after an RCMP raid of the Public Health Agency’s National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg. By order of the Commons health committee, internal emails revealed the researchers were in direct contact with the Whan Institute of Virology in China — where many believe COVID-19 originated.

Advertisement

Article content

Multiple orders to surrender documents pertaining to this case were refused by the Public Health Agency. On June 23, Cabinet went to Federal Court to seal the records under the Evidence Act.

Citing newspaper column, Holland documented support of Cabinet’s refusal to allow MPs to read the documents, which indicated how the scientists were granted a security clearance and why cops raided the facility in Winnipeg.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

It’s been noted that no MPs have asked for the records to be made public.

In his letter, Holland wrote there would be dangerous consequences if the documents were released. One specific document he noted, appeared “innocuous” and could lead to the unmasking of a protected foreign source should it be released.

Advertisement

Article content

“Potential sources with knowledge of violent extremism within Canada could be reluctant to share information with security agencies if they fear being identified,” said Holland.

During committee testimony on June 18, 2021, then-Public Health Agency Iain Stewart stated agency managers were scared of personal consequences if MPs knew about the documented facts. Stewart testified he worried about personal immunity if the documents were released.

During a Special Commons Committee hearing on Canada-China Relations, MPs were angered over Stewart’s refusal to answer queries.

Conservative MP Michael Chong determined the fired scientists had authored “at least six studies from 2016 to 2020,” noting “we know some of the research was paid for by China’s government and that some of these scientists were part of China’s military.”

Advertisement

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

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