With 5G networks on the horizon in Canada, the federal government is still looking at whether or not Huawei should be part of the mix.
However, it now appears they have at least given themselves a loose deadline as to when to make that final decision.
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According to a Globe and Mail report, Canada’s Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the decision will be made before this year’s federal election on October 21.
In the meantime, a national security review of the China-based tech giant is being conducted.
The report said that Goodale acknowledged the “the importance and the urgency” of the issue.
“We want to make sure Canadians have access to the best and most beneficial 5G technology, and at the same time we want to make sure they are safe and that their systems are not compromised,” he said.
Huawei equipment and devices are in jeopardy of being banned in countries like the United States.
And because Canada and the US – along with New Zealand, the UK, and Australia – are part of an intelligence-sharing network, the move by the US has raised the question as to whether or not Canada would lose out in intelligence information from their southern neighbour if it were to approve Huawei.
According to the report, Goodale said the government will “very carefully weigh the opinions and advice of our Five Eyes allies, our G7 allies.”
Australia and New Zealand already have bans, and that the UK has put massive security measures in place to allow Hauwei to move ahead – leaving Canada as the only country in the group without a clear policy or position.
“The United States is always a reliable security partner with Canada, just as I would underline in bold letters that Canada is a very reliable partner to the United States,” said Goodale. “The relationship is good and valuable in both directions, and we need to make sure it is strong.”
Canada has been at diplomatic odds with China, since December of last year, when the company’s CFO, Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver.
In March of this year, Canada announced that Wanzhou’s extradition hearing could proceed.
Then, just days later, China sued Canada over the arrest of Wanzhou.