One day, the federal government will make its decision on whether or not to allow China’s Huawei to participate in the build of Canada’s next-generation 5G wireless networks. But before that inevitable day comes, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) Minister Navdeep Bains says Canada won’t be swayed by other jurisdictions about it.
In an interview with Vassy Kapelos on CBC’s Power & Politics on Thursday afternoon, Bains said “we will make sure that we proceed in a manner that’s in our national interests,” adding, “we won’t get bullied by any other jurisdiction.”
The ‘bullied’ term implies the unnamed jurisdiction might be the United States, which is against Huawei 5G network hardware, over allegations of potential espionage by the Chinese company, which has ties to the Chinese Communist Party. President Donald Trump has said if Canada allows Huawei 5G hardware, intelligence sharing between both nations may be impacted.
When pressed for clarification if Bains was referring to the U.S., the minister backtracked to say, “maybe that was the wrong choice of words. We won’t be influenced by other jurisdictions.”
Bains told Kapelos, “we’re going to make sure that we make a decision that protects Canadians going forward. Particularly with this technology that’s going to be so critical and the impact that it’ll have on our day to day lives, is going to be fairly significant. We want to be thoughtful and very deliberate about the decision we make to protect Canadians.”
Check out the clip below:
.@NavdeepSBains says Canada “won’t get bullied” by other jurisdictions into making a decision about Huawei & 5G
— Power & Politics (@PnPCBC) March 5, 2020
The federal government has been dragging its feet on its Huawei decision, as an ongoing review continues on whether to allow the Chinese company’s 5G equipment here. The Liberal government had promised to announce the decision before last fall’s federal election, but that never happened.
Rogers is opting to use Ericsson for its 5G network build, which went live today in four Canadian cities. Rogers also stated today 5G network access for Infinite plans will come with a $15/month charge starting in March of 2021.
Bell recently announced it would use Nokia as its first 5G partner. Telus announced last month it would launch its 5G network with Huawei, using the latter’s equipment for its radio access network (RAN), which are antennas that send signals to phones, and not part of core networks.
Yesterday, ISED revealed its plans to lower wireless prices by 25 percent in two years. The cost-cutting measure will apply to data plans from 2GB to 6GB only, according to the government. If Rogers, Telus and Bell don’t lower prices in time, the government says it will “use regulatory tools” to increase competition.
Should Canada allow Huawei for the country’s 5G network build?