EDITORIAL: Prime Minister’s decision on Huawei is long overdue

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For months, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government hinted that they would ban telecommunications giant Huawei from developing Canada’s 5G communications network.

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At this point, any further decision would shock security experts.

Trudeau said on September 28 that “we’ve actually seen that many, if not all, Canadian telecommunications companies have started taking Huawei off their networks and moving forward in a way that doesn’t involve them as a business.

“We continue to weigh and examine the different options. We will definitely be making announcements in the coming weeks.

The government said at the time that it would prioritize the security of Canada’s communications networks, in consultation with our allies.

It was almost two months ago. Why the delay?

Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne said on November 8 that Canada would only deal with trusted security partners on 5G and that an announcement will likely come after Parliament resumes on November 22.

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The Trudeau government’s delay in making a decision, dating back to 2018, has negatively impacted Canada’s relationship with the “Five Eyes” security network, which includes the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Before the Liberals came to power, Stephen Harper’s Conservative government did not address the issue.

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A Nanos poll last month found that 76% of Canadians polled oppose Huawei’s involvement in 5G, compared to 10% who support it, for security reasons Huawei could spy for the Chinese government.

There is no longer any fear that the Huawei ban will extend the incarceration of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor by the dictatorial Chinese government.

They were unfairly jailed in retaliation after Canada honored an extradition request from the United States to detain Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver in December 2018, over allegations of wire fraud.

This case was resolved thanks to a deferred prosecution agreement between US authorities and Meng, who returned to China while Kovrig and Spavor were allowed to return to Canada in late September.

Huawei denies that it poses a threat to the security of Canada or any other country, arguing that it operates independently of the Chinese government.

But based solely on the precautionary principle, the Trudeau government should have made its decision long before now.

It is high time to formalize it.


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