The National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg is shown on May 19, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

The National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg is shown on May 19, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Canada’s Public Health Agency ordered to hand over documents on two fired scientists

PHAC president Iain Stewart has refused to explain to the committee why the pair were fired

A House of Commons committee is ordering the Public Health Agency of Canada to turn over all documents related to the firing of two scientists from Canada’s highest-security laboratory.

The Canada-China relations committee is also ordering PHAC to hand over documents related to a transfer of Ebola and Henipah viruses to China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The committee is giving PHAC 20 days to turn over the documents in an unredacted form, after which committee members will meet behind closed doors with the parliamentary law clerk to determine what can be made public without compromising national security or revealing the details of an ongoing RCMP investigation.

PHAC president Iain Stewart has refused to explain to the committee why Xiangguo Qiu and her husband, Keding Cheng, were fired in January, 18 months after being escorted from the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.

Qiu was responsible for a shipment of Ebola and Henipah viruses to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2019 but PHAC has said that had nothing to do with her subsequent escorted exit from the lab four months later.

Iain Stewart sent the committee a letter last week saying that the Privacy Act does not allow him to share “employment or labour-relations matters concerning public servants.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: Drivers who try to bulldoze through others

Inevitably I will end up with nothing but grille showing in my rearview mirror

X
Think on These Things: Truth is given to be shared

“Everyone is invited. Poor or wealthy. All need to recognize the authority of true goodness.”

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

A mushroom grower plans to plan new mushrooms in fallen trees in the Kaslo Community Forest. File photo
Kaslo mushroom farmer given green light for unique project

Robin Mercy will plant mushrooms in the Kaslo Community Forest

Alison Watson spotted this mama bear and her cub up an oak tree in Warfield last fall. Photo: Alison Watson
Secure your trash; Bears are awaking in Greater Trail and they’re hungry

Trash is the most reported attractant involved in human-bear conflicts

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Most Read