Tories reject proposed compromise to allow MPs to see documents on fired scientists


Published December 8, 2021 at 5:18 pm

OTTAWA — The Conservatives have rejected a proposed compromise to resolve a long-running dispute over the disclosure of secret documents related to the firing of two scientists at Canada’s highest security laboratory.

Conservative House leader Gerard Deltell says the government’s proposal is months too late.

He is instead asking Speaker Anthony Rota to rule that the Liberal government was in contempt of Parliament when it went to court last June to prevent disclosure of Public Health Agency of Canada documents regarding the firing of scientists Xiangguo Qiu and her husband, Keding Cheng.

Should Rota agree, the Conservatives intend to move a motion, supported by other opposition parties, to issue a warrant to seize the documents.

Last week, government House leader Mark Holland proposed a compromise: creating a special all-party committee to review the documents, with a panel of three former senior judges determining what could be made public without jeopardizing national security.

Holland says he’s disappointed that the Conservatives have rejected the proposal but he remains hopeful that other opposition parties may still accept it.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 8, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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