Madam Speaker, patriotism is a glue that unites the people of any nation. It is a basic requirement for all elected officials, regardless of the tier of government in which they serve. As members of Parliament, we are given various privileges of position and authority for the sake of furthering the well-being and prosperity of our people, our institutions and our land. Canadians look to leaders for protection and care, especially during COVID-19. Trust and expectations of leaders are intertwined with people's assurance of survival, safety and hope for their future. Patriotism was demonstrated by our fallen heroes and war veterans who fought and died to defend our nation's ability to thrive in peace and freedom, and with the capacity to pursue our dreams. We do not take their sacrifices lightly.
I raise the issue of patriotism and the duties of patriotism, because these are at the heart of our debate today. We are debating a Conservative motion for documents related to the transfer of the Ebola and Henipah viruses to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The motion reads: “That an order of the House do issue for the unredacted version of all documents produced by the Public Health Agency of Canada in response to the March 31, 2021, and May 10, 2021, orders of the Special Committee on Canada-China Relations, respecting the transfer of Ebola and Henipah viruses to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in March 2019, and the subsequent revocation of security clearances for, and termination of the employment of, Dr. Xiangguo Qiu and Dr. Keding Cheng”.
It is unfortunate that we have had to put forward this motion, in that we are seeing a pattern with the Prime Minister of dereliction of his patriotic duty to protect the people of Canada, dodging accountability and transparency, and attempting to conceal a host of ethical breaches that have occurred one after another consistently over the duration of his office. I would like to give a summary of his breaches to lead up to the premise on which I am seeking to ask my colleagues to vote in favour of this motion.
In 2019, the Prime Minister tried to interfere with the justice system by inappropriately pressuring the then Minister of Justice and Attorney General to intervene in an ongoing criminal case against SNC-Lavalin. The Prime Minister and his Liberal Party undermined any attempt from the opposition to fact-find and seek an investigation. In the end, rather than confess and apologize for his ethical breaches, he made the excuse that he was trying to save jobs. The outcome of that fiasco was the departure of three powerful female MPs from his party.
In 2020, regarding the WE Charity affair, the Prime Minister dodged questions for months, deliberately ignored the committee's will and presented redacted documents to cover up the truth and protect himself. He went as far as proroguing Parliament in the middle of a national crisis, when Canadians needed us to discuss solutions to help them.
These are just a couple of ethics breaches that had the largest news coverage, but the pattern of dodging accountability and cover-ups is a continuum with the Prime Minister. When it comes to Canada-China issues, the issues of patriotism and serving the best interests of Canadians are highly questionable. We have the government's deal with CanSino. The CanSino vaccine was Canada's first vaccine procured. The Prime Minister was confident about the deal in his announcement, yet the communist regime of China held up the vaccine and Canadians did not really know what was happening until four months later, when the government had to procure vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.
Our country was in the midst of a crisis, and instead of keeping the minority Parliament properly briefed on the challenges facing our nation so we could act in the best interests of Canadians, the Prime Minister hoarded the information and hindered Parliament from being able to do its job. My question still stands. Why did the Prime Minister gamble the safety and well-being of our nation with a communist regime that does not have our best interests at heart or take human rights seriously? Why did his pursuit of procuring our first vaccines from this regime, which is committing genocide against Uighur Muslims and detaining our two Michaels, take precedence over the lives of Canadians?
There is Huawei and the Prime Minister's refusal to ban its technology, despite Canada being the only Five Eyes nation not to do so. This is an issue of the privacy of Canadians and national security.
There is a recurring theme here. Canadians and the House have every reason to question the Prime Minister when he continues to make decisions that jeopardize our safety and national security. There has been a lack of accountability and transparency from the Prime Minister. We must pass this motion, because we need to get to the bottom of the truth on the transfer of Ebola and Henipah viruses to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. We need unredacted documents and to allow the committee to get to the truth to protect our nation's security. It is our patriotic duty.
The two scientists, Xiangguo Qiu and Keding Cheng, with deep connections to the communist regime of China's military, lost their security clearances and were dismissed from the high-security infectious diseases lab in Winnipeg after they transferred deadly viruses to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The Globe and Mail reports that they were fired because of concerns over the intellectual property they were sharing with Chinese authorities. PHAC has said they were fired for reasons unrelated to the transfer of the two diseases and that the investigation goes back to 2018. However, since as far back as 2008, CSIS has been warning Canadians and the research community about the infiltration of the communist regime of China for its own economic and military advantage.
Unredacted versions of documents PHAC was ordered to produce by the Canada-China relations committee on March 31 and May 10, 2021, must be provided for further review. We need to know why these scientists were fired. What actually happened? What implications does this have on the safety of Canadians and the security of our nation? It is the duty of the government to provide members with the tools we need to get to the bottom of this. We need to know the truth. Canadians deserve our utmost care, especially now when they need our help the most at this very vulnerable juncture.
It is clear that Liberals have a track record of covering up scandals and covering for China. We as the opposition, and any member of the government who would dare make a stand for accountability, must support this motion. Furthermore, I am still waiting for an apology from the Prime Minister for conflating Conservatives asking questions of accountability on this issue with stoking intolerance.
I would like to ask the Prime Minister why is he pandering to the Communist regime of China's strategy to silence the opposition from seeking the truth. I would like to ask him if he is trying to save face. Is he being complicit with the Chinese Communist Party?
The apology I am seeking is not just my own, it is that of Canadians who want to have confidence that we are safe and that our Canadian government puts the best interests of Canadians first. We need to not lose heart that, in the middle of this pandemic, a crisis, we have to be scrambling to have these kinds of discussions.
I agree with the many comments made today that we should not be having this discussion, but it comes to a matter of safety. If we do not have safety and security, and we allow whatever is at the root of all this, and if we do not know the truth, and we cannot tackle this issue for what it is, then in the long term, we do not know what our country will be up against.
This is a matter of asking the Prime Minister to be accountable for the decisions he makes. Trust has been breached again and again. We need to review document by document, testimony by testimony, in a non-partisan way, as true patriots of our country, to find a means for Canada to restore security and know where our security has been compromised, for who knows how long.
Canadians do not know the extent that the Prime Minister has pulled the wool over our eyes or if he has pandered himself to a dictator. Thought there is a pattern there that raises concerns. At this stage we need to know what damage control needs to be done to put our nation back on a path to national security. If there have been serious breaches, we need to restore our peace, and protect our privacy and data, so our safety will not be compromised.
Today, I call upon all my colleagues to remember our national anthem, the words, and to consider why they are serving in Parliament. Is it for their party? For their own agenda? Or is it for the people of Canada and the long-term flourishing future of our country? I call upon all my colleagues to support this motion for the sake of our national security, our people and the future of our beautiful Canada. May God keep our land glorious and free.