Huawei ar­rest fu­els anx­i­ety over se­cu­rity

The ‘just trust us line’ is not help­ful, says pub­lic safety critic

StarMetro Calgary - - CANADA & WORLD - Joanna Chiu Per­rin Grauer

French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron scrapped fuel taxes on Wed­nes­day fol­low­ing wide­spread re­sis­tance by France’s “Yel­low Vests.” Cli­mate ex­perts say, how­ever, that car­bon taxes are nec­es­sary in the fight against global warm­ing. The fed­eral gov­ern­ment is fac­ing harsher crit­i­cism for Canada’s con­tin­ued in­volve­ment with China’s Huawei Tech­nolo­gies af­ter the chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer of the con­tro­ver­sial tele­com was ar­rested in Van­cou­ver on Satur­day.

Canada’s Jus­tice De­part­ment says the United States is seek­ing Wanzhou Meng’s ex­tra­di­tion but is not pro­vid­ing fur­ther de­tails about the case be­cause of a court-or­dered pub­li­ca­tion ban.

Meng, who is also Huawei’s deputy chair­woman on the board, is cur­rently in cus­tody, ac­cord­ing to Van­cou­ver Supreme Court records. The court will pro­ceed with her bail hear­ing Fri­day morn­ing.

The Chi­nese telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions gi­ant is cur­rently in part­ner­ship with lead­ing Cana­dian uni­ver­si­ties across the coun­try as well as com­pa­nies such as Telus, with whom it is de­vel­op­ing in­ter­con­nected 5G net­works in Canada.

Matthew Dubé, New Demo­crat MP and critic for pub­lic safety and emer­gency pre­pared­ness, told StarMetro the op­po­si­tion has heard con­cerns from Canada’s al­lies.

“The big chal­lenge that we face (is) that there’s a lot of ques­tions that re­main unan­swered ... The ‘just trust us’ line that we’ve been get­ting ... is not nec­es­sar­ily help­ful,” Dubé said. Both the United States and Aus­tralia have banned the com­pany from par­tic­i­pat­ing in the con­struc­tion of 5G net­works be­cause of se­cu­rity con­cerns, and Wash­ing­ton has been in­creas­ing pres­sure on Canada, Bri­tain and New Zealand to fol­low suit. Canada is a mem­ber of the “Five Eyes” in­tel­li­gence al­liance with the United States, Bri­tain, Aus­tralia and New Zealand.

Last month, New Zealand be­came the third “Five Eyes” mem­ber to ban do­mes­tic telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions op­er­a­tors from us­ing Huawei’s equip­ment on na­tional se­cu­rity grounds. Dubé said even the op­po­si­tion is cur­rently in the dark about Ot­tawa’s re­sponse to mount­ing crit­i­cism from al­lies, ex­perts and the gen­eral pub­lic re­gard­ing its on­go­ing si­lence.

Huawei CFO Wanzhou Meng was ar­rested in B.C. Satur­day, prompt­ing re­newed calls from crit­ics and ex­perts for cau­tion.

ABDULMONAM EASSA/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESS/GETTY IM­AGES

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