Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned Conservatives on Wednesday that their concerns over the breaching of Canada's sensitive medical facilities, could be fueling anti-Asian attitudes.
Trudeau made the comments during Question Period, after Conservatives pressed the Liberals on the matter of the two Chinese scientists—Keding Chang and Xiangguo Qiu—who were suspended from the Virology Lab in Winnipeg in 2019, being fired with security clearances revoked soon after.
Managers confirmed that the husband and wife had made visits to Wuhan, China in the past, which is home to the Wuhan Institute of Virology where many have speculated the COVID-19 virus had come from. Agency management has refused to discuss the firings.
After being pressed by MP Pierre Paul Hus in French, MP Michael Barrett would attempt to get answers from Trudeau in English, asking the speaker: "The prime minister should be able to say that scientists who are sponsored by the Chinese military and the Chinese government, will not be allowed into these facilities. So will the Prime Minister ditch the script, and ditch the woke talking points, and answer 'yes or no,' will he bar scientists that are sent here from the Chinese government and the Chinese military from accessing sensitive Canadian research facilities?"
To which Trudeau responded: "Over the past number of years, we have taken significant steps to strengthen security around our sensitive institutions, particularly our universities and research facilities... We will not give in to pandering to anti-Asian racism. We've seen enough of a raise in intolerance across the country these past months. We need to continue to stand strong in supporting diversity."
According to Blacklock's Reporter, an RCMP investigation is underway.
Doctors worked in Wuhan labs
Conservative MP Michael Chong said during a May 10 hearing of the Commons Special Committee on Canada-China Relations that "There is no doubt Dr. Qiu and Dr. Chang worked at the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg."
"There is also no doubt that in order to work there you need secret level clearance, clearance they must have had," he continued. "We need to know what the Government of Canada was doing through the Laboratory in Winnipeg with respect to cooperating with the Wuhan Institute of Virology."
According to Chong, the duo had traveled to China five separate times between 2017 to 2018.
"One of those trips was to train scientists and technicians at China’s new Level Four virology lab in Wuhan," said Chong. "People are raising questions. This is not some dark part of the web driven by conspiracies. There are reputable people raising very real questions, and our question as Canadian parliamentarians is: What role did this National Microbiology Lab have in cooperating with this Institute of Virology in Wuhan?"