Conservative leader Andrew Scheer maintains that a Conservative government would ban Huawei from entering Canada’s 5G wireless network.
“As Mr. Scheer has said in the past, he believes Huawei poses a threat to Canada’s national security,” said a Conservative Party official.
The United States, Australia and New Zealand have all banned domestic telecommunications firms from using Huawei technology, citing the company’s close relationship with the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party as security concerns.
On Wednesday President Donald Trump issued an executive order which paved the way for the United States to ban Huawei completely.
The White House called the move an important step to “protect America from foreign adversaries who are actively and increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in information and communications technology infrastructure and services in the United States.”
While other countries have been swift to stop the state-owned company, Canada’s current government has made it clear that they will be taking time to decide how much influence the firm will have over Canadian telecommunications.
“Other countries have obviously made their views known and their views are important to us. We will weigh all of that very carefully in the decision,” Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said.
Security expert and True North fellow, Leo Knight, has been vocal about his opposition to Huawei entering Canada’s 5G network.
“The chief concern about the provision of 5G network technology is the potential for so-called backdoors that could allow Chinese cyber geeks to spy on the west or in the extreme situation to attack networks and, for example, take down the hydro grid or all air traffic communications,” Leo says.
“The risks of allowing Huawei to control our 5G networks are too great. This should be a no-brainer.”
When the U.S. government investigated Huawei for security risks in 2012, the report produced found, among other things, that Huawei was “unwilling to explain its relationship with the Chinese government or the Chinese Communist Party” and that Huawei “admits that the Chinese Communist Party maintains a Party Committee within the company.”
For nearly a decade security concerns with Huawei have been known and watched closely. Exactly why Canada does not recognize these concerns is not clear.
Tensions between Canada and China continue to escalate in recent weeks.
China arrested Canadians Michael Korvig and Michael Spavor as retaliation for the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on an American warrant. Neither were formally charged and received no rights to a lawyer.
In that same month, the Chinese Ambassador to Canada accused Canada of “white supremacy” for arresting Meng Wanzhou in the first place.
Given the disrespect and abuse hurled upon Canada by the Chinese government, many Canadians are wondering why it’s taking so long for Prime Minister Trudeau to ban Huawei.