After nearly four years, Canadians still have no answers about what exactly went on at the highly secretive National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg after two scientists were implicated in a national security scandal involving alleged collaboration with communist China.
A long-awaited probe into the activities of two scientists who were fired from Canada’s top-level biosecurity lab in Winnipeg is still underway, according to the RCMP.
Vanity Fair’s latest report cites records showing that the federal police force is continuing to investigate the incident.
“National security criminal investigations are often complex, multijurisdictional, and resource intensive, and can take several years to complete,” an RCMP official told the outlet.
The implicated scientists, Xiangguo Qiu and her husband Kending Cheng, were accused of sharing sensitive information and samples with China, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where the lab leak hypothesis cites as a potential birthing ground for the Covid-19 virus.
The case has sparked controversy and speculation since July 2019, when Qiu, Cheng and several Chinese students were escorted out of the National Microbiology Laboratory and stripped of their access to the lab.
The RCMP confirmed that it was a tip from an allied intelligence agency that put them on the pursuit but did not reveal any details of the allegations.
One of the most alarming aspects of the case was the revelation that Qiu had sent 24 vials of Ebola virus and six vials of Henipaviruses, both deadly pathogens, to the Wuhan lab in March 2019.
Qiu had also collaborated with Chen Wei, a major general in the People’s Liberation Army and a leading bioweapons expert in China.
The Trudeau government has faced criticism for its lack of transparency and accountability on the matter.
In 2021, the Liberals refused to comply with a House of Commons order to supply the documents related to the case, citing national security concerns.
It also sued former house speaker Anthony Rota to prevent the disclosure of the documents, a move that was unprecedented in Canadian history.
Trudeau then called for new elections in the fall of 2021, effectively shutting down the parliamentary inquiry into the lab.