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Poilievre Denounces Alleged ‘Cover Up’ as Documents Reveal Worries Over Winnipeg Scientists’ Connections to Chinese ‘Bioterrorism’ Specialist

Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre expresses concerns that Canada’s national security was compromised when a top scientist at a federal high-safety laboratory collaborated with a Chinese military expert in bioweapons and bioterrorism.

Poilievre criticizes what he views as a cover-up, citing documents that reveal a significant security breach at the level-4 laboratory in Winnipeg.

During a press conference in Ottawa on Feb. 29, Poilievre stated, “We have learned that the head of pathogens in the Trudeau government was working with members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army who are involved in bioweapons and bioterrorism.”

The Tory leader was responding to the release of hundreds of pages of documents in Parliament by the government, which address the dismissal of two scientists from the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) in Winnipeg in 2021.

Qiu Xiangguo, who led the special pathogens unit, and her husband Keding Cheng, a biologist, had their security clearances revoked in 2019 over suspicions of sharing confidential information with China. Despite never being charged, their current whereabouts are unknown.

Poilievre highlighted that the documents suggest a Chinese military official had unauthorized access to the lab, computers, and sensitive virological information.

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The NML is Canada’s sole biosafety level-4 laboratory equipped to handle lethal pathogens such as Ebola.

Poilievre urged people to read the government documents themselves to judge the situation, emphasizing that it is vital information from the Trudeau administration’s records.

The identity of the Chinese military scientist involved in bioterrorism research is withheld in the documents, listed only as “Major General, PLA / Top Virologist, AMMS (Chief 2).”

“PLA” refers to the People’s Liberation Army and “AMMS” to the Academy of Military Medical Sciences.

The major general has been previously identified as Chen Wei in the Globe and Mail, with whom Ms. Qiu collaborated on Ebola research.

Through Ms. Qiu, the NML, under the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), sent Ebola and Henipah virus samples to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in March 2019. Although these transfers had permission, the newly disclosed documents reveal that Ms. Qiu also sent materials out of the NML without authorization.

She reportedly granted access to at least two individuals from an unspecified Chinese government institution at the NML whose activities did not align with Canadian interests.


Opposition parties had been striving to obtain details about the lab’s activities since the information surfaced in the media a few years ago.

The release of the documents came in response to recommendations from a bipartisan committee of MPs and an impartial evaluation panel.

Prior to that, the government had used national security as a reason for not revealing the information. It defied four House of Commons requests and even went to court with the former House Speaker to avoid disclosing the documents.

After conducting a review, the committee of MPs rejected the national security argument.

“The information seems to be mostly about shielding the organization from embarrassment due to policy and implementation failures, rather than genuine national security concerns. Releasing it is essential for holding the Government accountable,” MPs stated in a letter addressed to the main parties’ House leaders on Feb. 19.

Poilievre claimed that the government’s intention was not to safeguard secrets but to cover up information before an election.

He stated, “He called a snap election to ensure voting occurred before this came to light. And what happened during that election? Beijing interfered to aid their victory.”

Health Minister Mark Holland, while discussing the tabling of the documents in Parliament on Feb. 28, labeled the lack of adherence to security measures at the NML as “unacceptable.” Yet, he noted that the threat of foreign interference was less significant at that time.

Mr. Holland also asserted that “no sensitive information left the lab.”

PHAC, in a statement released on Feb. 28, mentioned reinforcing its security protocols, including a review of international collaborations.

The Epoch Times reached out to PHAC and Health Canada about any ongoing research collaborations with Chinese entities but had not received a response at the time of publication.

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