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Feds ordered to produce documents on fired Chinese scientists

Earlier, Iain Stewart, president of the PHA, refused to take questions on the incident when cross-examined by MPs.




The Public Health Agency has been ordered to hand over documents on the firings of two Chinese scientists who were working in a federal lab, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

A Commons committee on Wednesday voted 6-5 to demand the documents.

Earlier, Iain Stewart, president of the PHA, refused to take questions on the incident when cross-examined by MPs.

“In cases where he deems fit, this official is seeking the right to make decisions, draw conclusions and shift policy responses on his own entirely insulated from public or parliamentary scrutiny and evaluation,” said Conservative MP Garnett Genuis (Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.).

“This is simply not how our system is supposed to work.”

The husband and wife scientists, Keding Chang and Xiangguo Qiu, both worked at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg. They were suspended in 2019 after carrying viruses to China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology aboard an Air Canada flight. Their firing was announced January 20.

The committee ordered Stewart to surrender “all information and documents” regarding the scientists’ firing. Records must be handed over by April 20 for confidential committee review pending public release.

“Given the issues at stake, there is obviously a profound public interest in this committee accessing this information,” said Genuis.

“It is also very clear this committee has a right to access this information.”

“It’s not done lightly,” said New Democrat MP Jack Harris (St. John’s East).

“The importance of the question at hand is significant.”

But in voting against the move, Liberal MP Robert Oliphant (Don Valley West, Ont.), parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs, said it was “uncomfortable” and noted the two scientists are under RCMP investigation.

“When there is a police investigation underway, not yet complete, we have to step back from that,” said Oliphant.

In March 22 testimony, Stewart confirmed the unusual firings, but refused to discuss it with MPs.

Asked why the pair were dismissed, Stewart replied: “I am not really at liberty to talk about that.”

Asked if he was aware of any case where scientists were fired from a federal lab for breach of security, Stewart replied: “That’s a very difficult question to answer”; “I’m not able to answer.”

Fed-up MPs accused Stewart of stonewalling the Commons committee.

Conservative MP John Williamson (New Brunswick Southwest) cited “bureaucratic butt-covering, incompetence, malfeasance in the department.”

“Can you understand why Canadians are concerned?” said Conservative MP Michael Chong (Wellington-Halton Hills, Ont.).

“It creates a lot of suspicions and questions.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com


CRTC trying to hang up on spoof calls

Caller ID spoofing occurs when callers hide or misrepresent their identity by displaying fictitious or altered phone numbers when making calls.




All those calls from the taxman and Canadian Border Services officials threatening to arrest you could soon be coming to an end thanks to new regulations from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

“Many Canadians are now able to determine which calls can be trusted thanks to a new technology aimed at combating spoofed calls named STIR/SHAKEN. Caller ID spoofing is frequently used in nuisance and fraudulent calls to mask the identity of the caller,” said the CRTC in a release.

“As of today, telecommunications service providers will certify whether a caller’s identity can be trusted by verifying the caller ID information for Internet Protocol-based voice calls. This new technology will help reduce the frequency and impact of caller ID spoofing. As service providers continue to upgrade their IP networks and offer compatible phones to their customers, more and more Canadians will be able to see the effects of STIR/SHAKEN.”

It’s believed up to 25% of all calls in Canada are scams.

The CRTC said Caller ID spoofing occurs when callers hide or misrepresent their identity by displaying fictitious or altered phone numbers when making calls.

“This new caller ID technology will empower Canadians to determine which calls are legitimate and worth answering, and which need to be treated with caution. As more providers upgrade their networks, STIR/SHAKEN will undoubtedly reduce spoofing and help Canadians regain peace of mind when answering phone calls,” said Ian Scott, CRTC CEO.

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SLOBODIAN: CBC’s list of woke words to help whites

Certainly, chiefs and elders running First Nations couldn’t manage without these buffoons sitting in a newsroom or office telling them some white guy saying the word tribe should deeply offend them.




If you’re easily offended grab a soother, a soft blankie, and go powwow with your spirit animal in a non-spooky safe space. 

This is not for the ultra-sensitive ever-hunting for ways to accuse “sexist, racist” meanies of inflicting immeasurable pain with their words that leave victims emotionally crippled.

CBC Ottawa journalists brainstormed with possibly phantom readers to compile a lame, tone-deaf list of racist words and phrases.

Of course, the savage list targets — you guessed it, insensitive white people viewed as black sheep in the La La Land where well-paid publicly-funded media fools obsess with skin colour — and sells them down the river.

Just when you think the divisive ghetto CBC tends to dwell in couldn’t-possibly-get-more-ridiculous, they conjure up this fine example of your approximately $1.5-billion tax dollars at work. 

Apparently, CBC consulted black, indigenous, and people of colour to find out what offends them. Nope, no white people. Doesn’t matter if anything offends them. They all apparently have a blind spot when it comes to tolerance, so they don’t matter.

“We ran some of the words by anti-racism and language experts, who said some of these phrases can be hurtful to various groups of people for their historical and cultural context,” said CBC.

Statues have been torn down, history is removed from school curriculums, innocent books are banned, and this is the historical content CBC uses, not to protect, but to create division and wounded feelings. 

Fellow taxpayers, we’re getting gypped with this wasteful CBC spending.

“It might be time to rethink your use of these phrases and remove them from your daily lingo. CBC Ottawa compiled a small list of words, submitted by readers and some of our journalists who are black, indigenous and people of colour,” said CBC.

The list includes ghetto, to sell someone down the river, brainstorm, blackmail, savage, spooky, gypped, powwow, crippled, tribe, black sheep, blindsided, first-world problem, spirit animal, lame, grandfathered in, and tone deaf.

So, what did the ‘experts’ say? Basically, white is bad. Really, very bad.

“The issue here is that these are all negative terms,” said Joseph Smith, an anti-racism trainer and educator. “It connotes evil, distrust, lack of intelligence, ignorance, a lack beauty — the absence of white.” 

He said the lowering of blackness in value was enhanced and pre-dated the transAtlantic slave trade. So white people walking Canadian streets who had nothing to do with that and are appalled by that are guilty? Got it.

Anti-racism trainer Jas Kalra, an inclusion and diversity coach, pointed out the tech industry is moving away from using whitelist and blacklist and adopting terms like block-list or deny-list. 

Great. And so now, the world is a better place.

According to CBC the word ghetto “implies a negative connotation toward people of a certain socio-economic class often associated with racialized groups.”  

What about the term white trailer-court trash people freely utter? If CBC feels any sympathy or outrage about those hurtful words, it neglected to say.

Ai Taniguchi, a linguist and an associate language studies professor with University of Toronto Mississauga, said words like spirit animal, powwow and tribe used by English speakers “can be a painful insult to indigenous communities.”

“If a non-indigenous person says ‘This is my tribe,’ I don’t think it’s OK, despite the fact that they’re using it presumably in a metaphorical way,” said Taniguchi.

“I didn’t know it was racist’ does not eliminate the pain of the hearer,” said Taniguchi. “As language users, we have the social responsibility to monitor the impact our utterances have on others, especially when it involves a marginalized group.”

Awww, isn’t it great that these helpless marginalized groups, most of whom are making it just fine on their own and getting along with their white neighbors and coworkers, have these condescending experts to protect them from racist slurs that aren’t meant to be racist slurs?

Certainly, chiefs and elders running First Nations couldn’t manage without these buffoons sitting in a newsroom or office telling them some white guy saying the word tribe should deeply offend them.

How would black Canadians even know what they are supposed to be wounded about without this expert help?

People make a living and derive superior self-satisfaction from creating and fueling division.

Really, who are the racists though? 

This has an anti-white stench all over it. And by feeling a need to ‘help’ marginalized groups understand what is offensive, these experts label them inferior.

Here’s another list of words and phrases that are harmful and highly offensive: CBC. Inclusion and diversity coaches. Fake lists of racial slurs.

Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard

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BC prepares for more flooding as third ‘atmospheric river’ arrives

A series of warnings have been issued for sections of BC’s southern coast.




The arrival of a third storm in a series of atmospheric rivers is looming in BC, and officials say it may be the worst of the lot.

Massive rainfall is set to drench the southern BC coast — an area with a long history of flooding — including the Fraser Valley where 90 mm of rain is expected to fall on Tuesday and Wednesday, prompting crews in Abbotsford to set up tiger dams in vulnerable areas.

A tiger dam is a rubber dam that inflates with water, which can be set up in a few hours as opposed to sand barriers which can take days.

Vancouver is anticipating a manageable rainfall of 60 mm, while Squamish and the North Shore expect up to 120 mm.

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for the Trans-Canada Highway — Eagle Pass to Rogers Pass, West Columbia, North Columbia, Kinbasket, and Yoho Park — Kootenay Park.

“Snow levels will rise to near 2000 metres tonight,” reads the statement.

“This will be accompanied by heavy rainfall on Wednesday. There is potential for increased runoff due to snowmelt and the heavy rain on Wednesday, increasing the risk of flooding.”

Weather in the mountains can change rapidly, posing severely hazardous driving conditions.

Heavy winds are also blowing through the Fraser Canyon.

“High winds may toss loose objects or cause tree branches to break. Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions due to high winds,” reads the statement.

The Coquihalla Highway from Hope to Merritt is expected to get 40-50 mm of rainfall which may “possibly impact vulnerable landscape and infrastructure.”

Inland sections of the Central Coast will also get soaked, including Bella Coola which will get up to 120 mm by Wednesday.

The coastal sections of the Central Coast, such as North Vancouver Island, and West Coast of Vancouver Island are anticipating 150 mm of rainfall by Wednesday causing concern for localized flooding in low-lying areas.

BC’s Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth has extended the state of emergency giving agencies such as the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Emergency Management BC, the RCMP, and others the ability to use extraordinary measures.

Within the extension is an order restricting fuel purchases.

“Non-essential vehicles” are limited to 30 litres of fuel per trip to the pump.

The order was initially set to conclude on December 1 but will now remain until December 14 at the earliest.

1990 vs 2021 Hwy. 1 in Abbotsford BC. (BC Archives/City of Abbotsford)

Reid Small is a BC-based reporter for the Western Standard

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