TODAY’S QUESTION: Should Canada ban Chinese-controlled Huawei Technologies Inc. from the coming 5G network?

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TRAVIS ASHELY (Green): Canada needs to be careful in dealing with an unforgiving nation such as China. If Canada is to negotiate the terms of Huawei 5G within our borders, the first thing we should do is be stricter on the release of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig.

JOHN BARR (People’s Party): I think that Canadian citizens who are opposed to China’s trade and human rights abuses should respond by boycotting Huawei products. I would like to see that extend to government purchases as well. And, while we are on the subject of phones, my wife just got a scam-call from an automated number telling her that she should press 1 or face being arrested. It amazes me that our federal government agencies cannot respond aggressively to these parasites.

STEPHEN FUHR (Liberal): Canada will never compromise its national security. The G5 network will affect billions of people’s lives by increasing the number of devices that can communicate with each other and the speed of data transfer. There are only a few companies, including Huawei, that can build the necessary infrastructure. Huawei maintains its independent from the Chinese government, but Chinese law requires companies to support, co-operate and collaborate with national intelligence. The concern is that Huawei could build backdoors into the system which will allow it to spy on other countries.  Canada is studying this issue. I think the experts, including our intelligence experts, must finish their important work before Canada makes a decision whether Huawei should be banned or not.  

TRACY GRAY (Conservative): A Conservative government will take action to ban Huawei from operating in areas where they could put the privacy and safety of Canadians at risk.

JUSTIN KULIK (NDP): Canada should not bow to corporate pressure in any sense. Decisions made at the federal level should first and foremost be for the well-being of Canadians, not to satisfy large corporations. Regarding this particular decision, there is much research that needs to be done about safety.What I can assure people is that I, and the NDP, will always protect the interests of Canadians. Unlike other parties, we put people before corporations everytime. Huawei is no different in that sense. 

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DAN ALBAS (Conservative): Canada is a member of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network that has twice warned Canada of the national-security risk from using Huawei equipment from China. Chinese law says that companies such as Huawei must cooperate with state intelligence authorities and the design of 5G technology may allow a back door into our national security apparatus. Mr. Trudeau continues to ignore these warnings and has yet to make a decision on what Canada will do. By stalling this decision until after the election, Mr. Trudeau has slowed billions of dollars of investment by not providing certainty to Canadian telecom companies and the many small and medium sized firms that design and build these systems. From my perspective Canada should stand with our Five Eyes intelligence allies that include the United States, Australia and New Zealand and say no way to Huawei.

ALLAN DUNCAN (Peoples Party): Yes. Canada has cooperative commitments to our allies that endorse such action. Until Canada’s allies, which are liberal democracies, are satisfied that security and espionage are not a concern we should remain closed to Huawei. These security concerns must be seriously considered especially because the 5G network’s power and potential has not been seen. Canadian markets and social and sovereign interests need to prioritized. If Chinese-controlled Huawei can assure Canada and our allies, on our terms, that they’re involvement will benefit us, we can look at such options for the future after we have 5G running ourselves.

ROBERT MELLALIEU (Green): There are two issues here — 5G and Huawei. 5G; as usual with new complicate technology, there is much misinformation. I am an electronics technician, I can understand the specifications of the MHz, bandwidths, etc. and they pose no more health risk than to the curren phone systems. Huawei; This is a different problem. I do have concerns. Since this is a Chinese-based company, it is governed by Chinese law and “could” be ordered to spy on our country. I think it would be prudent to be very cautious using this countries equipment and technology.

MARY ANN MURPHY (Liberal): The decision of banning Huawei Technologies Inc. from the coming 5G network should not be a political decision. Rather, the decision must be based on the evidence and research of the Canadian intelligence community, to ensure that the safety and interest of Canadians are top priorities. This situation should be evaluated on an ongoing basis as information becomes available or changes develop.

JOAN PHILLIP (NDP): We need to consider the sovereignty implications of these decisions. An NDP government would absolutely air on the side of caution in this decision.

Wednesday: Annual immigration is approximately equal to 1% of Canada’s current population. Is that percentage too high, too low, or just right in your position?