The Speaker of the House of Representatives disputed with the government over the disclosure of documents and challenged the court’s jurisdiction
The Speaker of the House of Commons, Anthony Rota, intends to confront the Liberal government in court because two scientists from Canada’s highest security laboratory were fired regarding the disclosure of documents.
The Speaker’s Office stated that the speaker’s legal counsel has informed the Federal Court and the Attorney General that Rota intends to interfere with the Liberal government’s court application and will challenge the court’s jurisdiction based on parliamentary privileges unless the government waives its application to block its application. Disclosure of documents.
The Liberal government and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) refused to publish documents related to the dismissal of scientist Qiu Xiangguo and her husband Cheng Keding, who were escorted out of the National Microbiology Laboratory during an investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 2019.
Two formal Was fired in January this year.
The opposition parties united in the House of Commons earlier this month and ordered PHAC to surrender all unedited documents related to the dismissal of the two scientists.
Liberal government Ask the court earlier this week The disclosure of documents is prohibited, and Liberal Party Member Rota is appointed as the respondent for this matter.
The Liberal government stated that it is concerned that the release of sensitive intelligence may have an impact on international relations, national security and national defense.
PHAC Chairman Iain Stewart said that the law prohibits him from disclosing “sensitive or potentially harmful information.”
The opposition’s motion calls for these documents to be handed over to parliamentary legal assistants, who will conduct confidential review of them and modify any content that he believes would endanger national security or an ongoing police investigation.
The motion stipulates that the Canada-China Relations Committee may choose to disclose any edited materials after consulting with legal assistants.
The minority Liberal government ignored the House of Representatives order and provided unedited documents to the party-wide National Security and Intelligence Committee member NSICOP, whose members have the highest security clearance and must be kept confidential.
The Liberal government argued that NSICOP is the appropriate agency to review documents and will not endanger national security or harm any ongoing investigations.
‘The House of Representatives has power’
Last week, Rota ruled that sending the document to NSICOP was an unacceptable option because it is a relatively new institution and not a parliamentary standing committee.
Rota used a rarely used House program on Monday Publicly condemned Stewart Because he did not surrender the required documents.
“Relevant powers, like all powers enjoyed by the House of Representatives collectively and individual members, are essential to fulfilling their duties,” Rota said. “When obstruction or interference hinders its deliberations, the House of Representatives has the power and, in fact, the duty to reiterate them.
“As the guardian of these rights and privileges, this is exactly what the House of Representatives asked me to do today, ordering the Speaker to condemn your contempt for the Public Health Agency of Canada and refuse to submit the required documents.”