At the Canadian Parliament’s House of Commons debate on February 5, 2021, MP James Cummings of the Conservative party pressed William Amos, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, on a ban on Huawei 5G products. Amos refused to make comments on specific companies, but said “an examination of 5G technologies and a review of security and economic considerations is well under way” and promised to “[keep Canadian networks] safe and secure.” Here is the full exchange:
Madam Speaker, not even a month in, President Joe Biden has stated that his administration considers the Chinese telecom giant Huawei to be a national security threat. Now, six years into his role, the Prime Minister has yet to make a decision on Huawei.
Will the Prime Minister stand with our international allies and say no to Huawei?
Madam Speaker, our government is going to continue to ensure that Canadian networks are kept safe and secure. We are never going to comment on specific companies, and everyone knows that an examination of 5G technologies and a review of security and economic considerations is well under way. We are going to carefully weigh these matters with our allies and our partners, including the Biden administration, and we are going to make the best decision for Canadians.
Madam Speaker, that is just not good enough.
Canada is the only allied Five Eyes country without a formal policy to ban or restrict Huawei from operating within it, and now it looks like our neighbours down south are ready to make a strong decision on this matter.
Why is the government choosing to stand with a company connected to the Chinese government, rather than our long-held strong international allies?
Madam Speaker, it is clear that our government recognizes the importance of protecting Canada’s telecommunications systems. We are regularly engaging with telecommunications companies, with our allies and the security infrastructure on a variety of topics, just like this. We are not going to publicly discuss advice given by our national security experts, but I can assure the House that we are always going to be taking the steps necessary to protect Canadians.