Canada’s national police force is investigating a referral by the country’s Public Health Agency over “possible policy breaches” at its National Microbiology Lab where risky and potentially dangerous human animal pathogens, such as Ebola, are stored and studied.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has confirmed that they have received a referral to investigate from the Public Health Agency of Canada, reports Physicians Weekly. It was reported that The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has advised the RCMP of “possible policy breaches” in the spring.
Chinese Scientist Escorted Out
Apparently, earlier this month Chinese-educated Xiangguo Qiu, who headed up the Vaccine Development and Antiviral Therapies section in the Special Pathogens Program at the national lab, was escorted out of the National Microbiology Lab (NML) in Winnipeg over this investigation. Professor Qiu was part of a team that developed the Ebola vaccine ZMapp that was used during the 2014 outbreak in West Africa.
Growing Tensions Between Canada and China
This removal comes amid increasing tension between Canada and China, which started when Canada carried out an extradition request from the U.S. arresting the CFO of China’s Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd, in Vancouver in December 2019.
The CBC reported that months before Qiu’s removal IT specialists at the NML entered her office and replaced her computer.