Skip to main content


Liberal and NDP MPs joined forces Monday to block a parliamentary investigation into a security breach at Canada’s high-security infectious-disease laboratory in Winnipeg.

Conservative foreign affairs critic Michael Chong had moved a motion to investigate how Xiangguo Qiu and her husband, Keding Cheng, were able to pass confidential information to China even after security concerns were raised about the couple’s activities.

Documents tabled in the House of Commons late week revealed that the two infectious-disease scientists provided confidential scientific information to China and were fired after a probe concluded Dr. Qiu posed “a realistic and credible threat to Canada’s economic security” and it was discovered they engaged in clandestine meetings with Chinese officials.

“The People’s Republic of China and its entities infiltrated Canada’s top microbiology lab, a national-security breach representing a very serious and credible threat to Canada,” Mr. Chong said. He said the Liberal government had fought for years to stop opposition parties from finding out why the two scientists were fired and whether there were serious security breaches at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.

NDP spokesperson Nina Amrov said the party still supports an examination of what happened, but did not believe it should take place in the Commons committee that Mr. Chong was proposing. The NDP believe it should take place at the Commons committee on Canada-China relations.

Story by The Globe’s Robert Fife and Steven Chase can be read here.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Marie Woolf. It is available exclusively to our digital subscribers. If you’re reading this on the web, subscribers can sign up for the Politics newsletter and more than 20 others on our newsletter signup page. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.


Budget to be unveiled on April 16, later than usual: The federal budget will be tabled on April 16, the Department of Finance said Monday. Traditionally, budgets are tabled by late March and it is uncommon for the fiscal blueprint to be released in April. Last week, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland signalled the forthcoming budget will keep the size of this year’s deficit below $40.1-billion.

Trump back on Colorado ballot: The U.S. Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, has ruled that Donald Trump can remain on the ballot despite his conduct on Jan. 6, 2021, when rioters entered the U.S. Capitol building following a speech by the outgoing president.

Haters could migrate to smaller platforms not covered by online harms bill: People blocked from posting hate speech on social media might migrate to smaller platforms not covered by Canada’s new online harms bill, minority advocates warn.

By-election in Erin O’Toole’s riding today: A federal by-election is being held today in the Ontario riding of Durham to fill the seat left vacant last spring by former Conservative leader Erin O’Toole.

Police looking into protest outside venue for Trudeau dinner with Italian PM: Toronto Police are reviewing a protest over the weekend that led to the cancellation of a dinner between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and visiting Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. The event at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto on Saturday evening was called off after several hundred pro-Palestinian protesters gathered outside the venue, blocking doorways and making it difficult for guests to enter.


Minister in fast lane: Liberal staffers tuning into the Netflix docu-series Drive to Survive, which gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the adrenaline-fuelled world of Formula One racing, were more than a little surprised last week to find François-Philippe Champagne making a cameo appearance at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.

The Industry Minister has been making something of a habit of impromptu appearances with daredevils.

The other week he popped up in a parliamentary lobby with two astronauts to wax lyrical about an upcoming mission to the moon. Jeremy Hansen will be the first Canadian to travel to the moon, with Jenni Gibbons as his backup on Artemis II.

What could Mr. Champagne’s next foray into the world of dangerous pursuits be? A run at the Liberal leadership perhaps?

Today in the Commons: The House of Commons is not sitting this week.

Ministers on the Road: Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, and François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Industry, joined Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, Kirsten Hillman, in a visit to Gordie Howe International Bridge, due to be completed later this year. The bridge over the Detroit River connecting Detroit with Windsor, Ont., will be the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America.

Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, was in New York City on Monday to place Canada’s signature on an agreement, under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, to preserve ocean life, tackle environmental degradation and prevent biodiversity loss in the high seas.

Defence Minister Bill Blair and Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, announced $45.3-million to upgrade a military base in Edmonton. The upgrade of 124 buildings, including replacing fossil fuel heating with low-carbon alternatives, will reduce the base’s energy costs by 21 per cent, or an estimated $2-million annually, Ottawa says.

Mental Health and Addictions Minister Ya’ara Saks was highlighting Black Mental Health Week Monday to raise awareness of the impact of racism on mental health in Black communities. She said the government is investing in 23 projects, led by or developed with Black Canadian community groups, to improve the mental health of Black people in Canada.


The Prime Minister is in the national capital region and has no public events scheduled.


NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh visited the Second Nature Childcare Centre in Powell River, B.C., where he criticized Conservative Pierre Poilievre for wanting to cut the national $10-a-day childcare. program.

No schedule provided for Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre.


In today’s edition of the Decibel podcast, Marieke Walsh, The Globe’s senior political reporter, explains how the pharmacare program will work and how much it will cost.

The Liberal-NDP supply-and-confidence agreement has passed another test. The two parties managed to table a pharmacare bill before the March 1 deadline. But the compromise legislation is a limited program, supplying universal, single-payer coverage to only two classes of drugs.


The Liberals table a fatally flawed online harms bill

“The Liberals have bundled their online harms laws into a single bill, but that wide-reaching legislation is really two very different frameworks that have been unwisely conjoined.” - Globe editorial board

Tributes to Mulroney should teach Trudeau that legacies can outlive controversies

“The tributes to Brian Mulroney this week should offer Justin Trudeau some comfort. They remind us that a politician’s legacy is not determined on the day they leave office, but much later. This was true for Canada’s 18th prime minister. It will be true as well for its 23rd.

Pierre Trudeau, Brian Mulroney and Justin Trudeau all won the prime ministership on a wave of hope for change. Pierre Trudeau and Mr. Mulroney shared something else in common: Both were deeply unpopular when they left.” - John Ibbitson

A Triple Dip with a Twist in ArriveCan’s parade of playing the system

“A dozen years ago, the federal procurement ombudsman embarrassed the government with reports of ‘double-dipping’ – retired civil servants collecting government pensions and consulting contracts. The Conservative minister responsible, Tony Clement, instituted a rule that was supposed to see such arrangements disclosed publicly on a government website. But you won’t find David Yeo’s name on that site, even though his company, Dalian Enterprises, has been receiving millions of dollars in information technology contracts for well over a decade.” - Campbell Clark

Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop.

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe