Canada Still Undecided on Huawei 5G, But Many Expect Ban Coming: Report

With Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou recently freed and having returned back to China, and detained Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig similarly released, the decision on whether or not to ban Huawei from 5G networks is expected to return to the spotlight.

According to The Globe and Mail, Canada’s decision to ban Huawei is expected to come soon, considering the country is the last of its allies to do so.

Jonathan Berkshire Miller, a senior fellow with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, told the Globe, “I think there’s going to be a lot more pressure from the opposition now to have a resolution on this,” pointing out the Conservatives stated it would ban Huawei for the sake of national security.

Out of the “Five Eyes” security alliance, which includes the U.S., Britain, Australia and New Zealand, Canada has yet to restrict or ban Huawei.

A spokesperson for Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne told the Globe in a statement on Sunday, “while we cannot comment on specific companies, an examination of emerging 5G technology and the associated security and economic considerations is under way.”

“Our government has been clear that it will pursue an approach that takes into account important domestic and international considerations, and will make the best decision for Canadians,” added spokesperson John Power.

Canada would likely ban Huawei from 5G networks, or “overwhelming forces in this country would go nuts if we did anything else,” said public policy and global affairs professor Paul Evans from the University of British Columbia. Evans pointed out despite Huawei being banned by Canada’s allies, the Chinese company with ties to the Chinese Communist Party, is still the dominant world player when it comes to 5G hardware.

Telcos in Canada have already distanced themselves from Huawei for 5G. Rogers is using Ericsson equipment; Telus is also using Ericsson, along with hardware from Nokia and Samsung; Bell similarly is using Ericsson for 5G and also Nokia equipment, too.

Huawei Canada told the Globe, even though Canada is a small market for the company generating “around 1 percent” of global revenues, our market remains an attractive place to invest “because of its skilled and diverse work force and openness to immigration.”