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

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RICHARD CANNINGS (NDP): I have deep concerns over the security implications of Huawei’s equipment being used in Canada’s infrastructure. Huawei’s technology has been undergoing an unprecedented amount of security reviews by many allied countries, many of which, have not come to the same conclusion as the U.S. Canada’s Communication Security Establishment is presently undergoing its own review of Huawei equipment and it’s imperative that they work with our allies and be as transparent as possible in the report to reassure Canadians that any decision prioritizes the security of Canada. Canada’s security should never be sacrificed simply because it is cheaper.

CONNIE DENESIUK (Liberal): I believe that rigorous review is essential before any action to ban Huawei Technologies from Canada’s proposed 5G network, as several other countries have done. One issue is that Canadian companies have made purchase commitments with Huawei. Another issue is concern that Huawei network equipment is embedded with spyware, and also that the Chinese government might cancel technical support arrangements and cripple the network. This decision is also intertwined with the current imprisonment of two Canadians in China, following the RCMP’s arrest of Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou, based on a U.S. extradition warrant. Conservatives pressed for quick decision before the October election; however, the above issues signal that careful consideration of several factors is required, before Huawei can be banned.

TARA HOWSE (Green): With the Canadian court system still processing deportation to the U.S. and the U.S. reviewing the charges of trade secret theft and fraud, there are not enough facts or information available to take a firm position on this question. The Green Party takes privacy protection seriously and notes the Privacy Commissioner’s concern that our legislation needs to be drastically updated, particularly related to cyber surveillance and data collection by government, policing, and corporations.

HELENA KONANZ (Conservative): Protecting national security must be one of the top priorities of any government. The Liberals have not taken cyber-security seriously. A Conservative government is committed to banning Huawei from participating in the 5G network in Canada, and have a thoughtful plan to secure the data of Canadians. A Conservative government led by Andrew Scheer will take action to ban Huawei from operating in areas where they could put the privacy and safety of Canadians at risk.

SEAN TAYLOR (People’s Party): I am unable to speak intelligently on this, as I don’t have access to the information required to make an informed decision. Sovereignty issues are the main reason I became a candidate in this election, and Huawei definitely raises some concerns. What I do know is that we have excellent people working diligently in our intelligence services that will be able to advise policy makers on this question.

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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-s ecurity 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?