Scientists fired from Winnipeg lab over security fears rightly under probe: minister

OTTAWA — Health Minister Mark Holland says it's "extremely appropriate" that two scientists who lost their jobs due to dealings with China remain under investigation.

The National Microbiology Laboratory researchers were fired in early 2021 after their security clearances were revoked over questions about their loyalty and the potential for coercion by Beijing.

Records tabled in Parliament late last month say the scientists, Xiangguo Qiu and her husband, Keding Cheng, played down their collaborations with Chinese government agencies.

The RCMP said today a national security investigation into the matter that began in May 2019 remains underway.

The Mounties started the probe following a referral from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The Globe and Mail reported today the two scientists have been using pseudonyms as they build a new life in China.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 20, 2024.

The Canadian Press