McGill University hands over documents to Demilitarize McGill

McGill University has decided to release documents about military research undertaken by one of its research labs, after a four-year battle by Demilitarize McGill to obtain the records.

After 4-year battle, 600 pages of documents released to group seeking information about military research

Demilitarize McGill has been fighting for access to emails exchanged between an aerospace research laboratory and four companies with ties to the defence industry. (McGill University)

McGill University has decided to release documents about military research undertaken by one of its research labs, after a four-year battle by Demilitarize McGill to obtain the records.

Cadence O'Neal, a member of the activist student group, was prepared for five days of hearings before Quebec's access to information commission, scheduled to start today.

However, when she arrived this morning, a McGill lawyer said the university would release all the requested documents.

Cadence O'Neal is a member of Demilitarize McGill. (CBC)
"Basically, they handed 600 pages of documents and said, over the next couple of months, that they would give me almost 6,500 pages of emails as well, between the researchers at this lab and the companies," O'Neal said in an interview.

"It was a very surprising moment."

Demilitarize McGill has been fighting for access to emails exchanged between an aerospace research laboratory run by mechanical engineering Prof. Wagdi Habashi, the Computational Fluid Dynamics Lab, and four companies with ties to the defence industry.

O'Neal said she hasn't yet had a chance to study the documents.

Stephen Strople, the secretary general of McGill University, said it took some time before the university was able to release the documents requested by Demilitarize McGill, because it needed permission from the four companies involved.

"We have been pursuing discussions with the four parties for some time now," Strople told CBC News. "We were finally successful last week in obtaining the consent of the last company to disclose the documents in question."

With files from Kalina Laframboise