After years of hesitation and more than seven months after the release of two Canadians who had been held in China since the end of 2018, the Trudeau government finally announced on Thursday the ban of Chinese giants Huawei and ZTE from Canadian phone networks. 5G wireless.
“The government intends to ban the use of Huawei and ZTE components and services in the Canadian telecoms system,” Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said Thursday in Ottawa.
“This comes after a comprehensive review by our independent security services and in consultation with our closest allies,” he added.
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Canadian security experts are almost unanimous in urging Ottawa to ban Huawei from 5G networks. In particular, they raised the risk of the Chinese government spying on Canadians through “back doors” built into its products and services. Huawei has long denied this possibility.
Thus, Canada becomes the last member of the Five Eyes organization (five eyes)which also includes the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand, to exclude Huawei from its 5G networks.
How many years ?
“The main issue is how many years the government will give companies to remove equipment from Huawei. Telus has put Huawei’s 5G hardware and software into its systems. We must force it to remove it immediately.” register Margaret McCaugh-Johnston, a former federal government employee who now teaches at the University of Ottawa.
For its part, Bell installed components from Huawei in earlier versions of its cellular infrastructure, which is also used in its 5G network.
to me National PostAnd Bell and Telus are pressing Ottawa for compensation for removing Huawei equipment, but on Thursday Mr Champagne said simply “no” when asked if he intended to pay them compensation.
The two companies did not respond to questions from Thursday newspaper.
Silence on the consequences
Relations between Canada and China soured after Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in December 2018 following an extradition request from the United States.
A few days later, the imprisonment of Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig by China set fire to relations between the two countries.
On Thursday, Secretary Champagne remained dodging the possibility of China retaliating.
“This decision is in the best interests of Canada,” he said.
With QMI and Francis Hallen