New public safety minister says Huawei 5G decision timeline is undecided but a priority

The new public safety minister was sworn in on November 20th

Newly sworn-in Public Safety Minister Bill Blair has said that there is no timeline regarding when Canada will make a decision on its Huawei 5G review.

He says that it is a priority to decide whether the Chinese tech giant will be allowed to participate in the deployment of Canada’s next-generation 5G network, but is unsure when this will happen.

“I think there are some complex economic and security issues that need to be addressed,” Blair said to reporters on November 20th, according to the CBC.

“And it will be a priority when we come back to government and when cabinet meets to examine those issues and make that decision. I don’t have a specific timetable at this time.”

The former Public Safety Minister, Ralph Goodale previously said that the decision on Huawei would come after the election campaign. He also stated that the government needed more information from the U.S. regarding the possibility of a security threat.

Huawei’s relationship with Canada became hostile when Vancouver authorities arrested its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in December 2018. She currently awaits extradition to the U.S. to face a trial.

China has also detained two Canadians in a move that is believed to be retaliation for arresting Meng. The country alleges they were part of a national security threat.

Huawei Canada’s president says that the company will incur a significant loss if it is banned from participating in 5G infrastructure development across the country, but stated that it will continue its investment in Canada regardless.

Huawei executives recently have also insisted the company’s lobbying and Canadian strategy moving forward will be “diplomatically forceful.”

Source: CBC