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Scheer slams ‘scandal-plagued’ Trudeau over secrecy

“From start to finish, Justin Trudeau has been just a complete phony on transparency and openness and this should matter to Canadians,” Scheer told the Western Standard.

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Conservative MP and former Speaker of the House Andrew Scheer said the Liberal government’s secrecy regarding Chinese scientists fired from a Winnipeg lab is “classic Justin Trudeau.”

Scientists Xiangguo Qiu and Keding Cheng worked at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg. The married couple were escorted out of the Winnipeg lab in 2019, with authorities citing security concerns, and were officially fired in January 2021, but not before they transferred Ebola and Henipah virus samples from Winnipeg to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.

Many believe the COVID-19 virus originated in Wuhan.

Parliament has demanded all documents on the matter since March, but the government has refused. Speaker Anthony Rota was prepared to send the Sergeant-at-Arms to seize the documents, but the government filed in court to stop him. In a letter to MPs, Rota said he would fight “tooth and nail” to protect Parliament’s jurisdiction.

In an interview with Western Standard, Scheer said he was glad to see the speaker respond so decisively.

“Speaker Rota realizes even though he was elected as a Liberal, that by taking that role he has an obligation that goes beyond party affiliation, and that every Canadian is counting on him to preserve that balance that the government is not above the law, that the prime minister is not above the law, and that nobody can ignore the right of Parliament to hold the government to account,” he said.

Scheer, who was speaker himself from 2011 to 2015, has a less favorable assessment of the prime minister.

“Justin Trudeau is the most scandal-plagued prime minister in recent history,” Scheer said.

“This isn’t the only fight that he’s fighting not to disclose documents on. I sit on the Transport Committee. We’ve ordered the release of details about huge bonuses paid to corporate executives at the infrastructure bank, and they have refused to hand that over.

“There are other committees where they’re involved in similar types of things. This is classic Justin Trudeau. He says the exact opposite of what he does. He comes into power promising that sunshine is the best disinfectant, and he immediately sets about covering up…

“From start to finish, Justin Trudeau has been just a complete phony on transparency and openness and this should matter to Canadians.”

The government has cited security concerns as the primary reason for its non-disclosure. Scheer said the Harper Conservatives handed over documents regarding Afghan detainees while their military engagement was still active, so the Liberals have no excuse for their secrecy in this instance.

Scheer, who formerly waited on tables, said Parliament is boss over its own affairs.

“The same way a manager of a restaurant has the right to know how much money the chef is spending on produce, so too does the House of Commons have the right to know how the government is conducting itself, how it’s overseeing the pandemic response, how this lab is being operated, who’s in the lab, who’s working, what are the connections between this lab and the Chinese military?” he said.

“We are, after all, talking about a lab (that’s) doing active research on a pandemic that was currently raging across the world. And the links between that lab and the Chinese military are worthy of investigation. So we need to get to the bottom of this.”

Scheer believes the government is headed in an ominous direction.

“I hope Canadians who read your article, who are following this story, I hope they understand this isn’t some theoretical risk. If governments get away with treating Parliament like this, if governments get away with covering up scandals and covering up corruption, then it will only get worse,” he said.

“We have the right to provide that accountability and oversight, that Canadians know that they’re being served well by their government. And right now, they’re not.”

Harding is a Western Standard correspondent based in Saskatchewan

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. K

    July 9, 2021 at 3:22 pm

    Who cares what this failed, impotent leader of nothing has to say about anything. It would be so easy to attack the current system as a conservative these days, nevertheless, they cower at the thought of being ‘cancelled’.

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Hundreds of Albertans protest in front of UCP MLA offices over COVID restrictions

So just a few hours after Kenney brought in the new restrictions on Wednesday, ready they were – and about a dozen MLA offices were picketed.

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He knew they couldn’t stop the government from bringing in even more COVID-19 restrictions, but Jordon Kosik wanted to be ready to show his displeasure.

Operating two Facebook groups, Holding MLAs Accountable and Closed for Fall, Kosik had his 17,000 members ready to protest just hours after Premier Jason Kenney brought in a fourth COVID-19 lockdown, which this time includes vaccination passports.

“A couple of weeks ago, we knew something was happening,” Kosik said in a Thursday interview with the Western Standard.

Protest in front of Nathan Cooper’s office. Photo courtesy Holding MLAs Accountable

“There was nothing we could do to stop it, but what we could do is get ready.”

So just a few hours after Kenney brought in the new restrictions on Wednesday, ready they were – and about a dozen MLA offices were picketed.

Some had a handful of people show up, while others had scores of people.

“This was on organic protest, people in their own ridings,” said Kosik.

And Kovik thinks this won’t be the end of restrictions, with more likely in a couple of weeks.

“To get ready for that we have to network, network, network,” Koik said.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Vancouver gangster killed in daylight shooting

Several news sources said the homicide victim was well-known in Vancouver’s illicit drug trade.

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Vancouver cops are on the hunt for an armed killer after a gangster was slain Wednesday during a daylight shooting in Vancouver’s core area.

Amandeep Manj, 35, a known member of the United Nations gang, was shot about 3:30 p.m while sitting inside his car in the parking lot of the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel near Canada Place.

Soon after he bloodied body was discovered, paramedics raced to the lot, but Manj was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said they’re convinced the shooting was a targeted hit.

Several news sources said the homicide victim was well-known in Vancouver’s illicit drug trade.

Manj’s brother, Jodh Manj, also died a violent death three years ago when he was killed while leaving a Mexico City gym.

Vancouver Police Const. Tania Visintin told the Vancouver Sun Manj is the city’s 13th homicide of 2021.

She told the paper officers responded to level three of the parkade near Cordova and Burrard streets “after a man was found unresponsive by a witness.” 

Police have made no arrests in the case, and ask anyone who may have information about the shooting to contact Vancouver police.

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COVID vaccines changing their names

The FDA approved new names in the US earlier this summer.

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What’s in a name? Plenty, apparently, when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines in Canada.

Health Canada announced Thursday it will accept the change in new brand names of the three most common vaccines Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca.

The Moderna vaccine will go by SpikeVax and the AstraZeneca vaccine will be named Vaxzevria.

The Pfizer vaccine will now be called Comirnaty, which the company said represents a combination of the terms COVID-19, mRNA, community, and immunity.

CBC said the vaccines didn’t go by their brand name initially, but now that new and more long-term data has been submitted and approved they will go by their permanent name.

Canada is still expected to receive vials labelled Pfizer-BioNTech for the next several months.

The FDA approved new names in the US earlier this summer.

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