Mr. Stewart, you are attending at the bar of the House on behalf of the Public Health Agency of Canada for failure to comply with the orders of the Special Committee on Canada–China Relations of March 31 and May 10, 2021, and the order of the House of June 2, 2021.
The orders in question called for unredacted versions of all the documents produced by the Public Health Agency of Canada about the transfer of the Ebola and Henipah viruses to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in March 2019, and the subsequent revocation of the security clearances of Dr. Xiangguo Qiu and Keding Cheng.
The privileges held by the House of Commons are an integral part of the Constitution Act, 1867, and the Parliament of Canada Act. These rights include the right to require the production of documents. Under the Standing Orders of the House of Commons, committees of the House exercise these same rights when carrying out their respective mandates.
The privileges in question, like all those enjoyed by the House collectively and by members individually, are essential to the performance of their duties. The House has the power, and indeed the duty, to reaffirm them when obstruction or interference impedes its deliberations. As guardian of these rights and privileges, that is precisely what the House has asked me to do today by ordering the Speaker to reprimand you for the Public Health Agency of Canada's contempt in refusing to submit the required documents.
The House further ordered you to immediately submit unredacted versions of the documents to it. However, through your counsel, the Speaker was informed that you are unable to deliver the documents referenced in the order.
In this regard, I have received a communication earlier today from counsel representing the president of the Public Health Agency of Canada in relation to the order of the House adopted on Thursday, June 17, 2021.
As the letter is in only one language, it would require unanimous consent for me to table the letter.
All those opposed to the tabling of the letter, in one language, please say nay.