The access and cost of internet service in Canada is a concern for businesses and individuals but these concerns need to be balanced against privacy and security.
Huawei, a private Chinese company, is the leader in developing 5G networks. Huawei’s technology is the most advanced and cheapest to purchase but it also has an unfair competitive advantage as a state-sponsored monopoly.
Both the Australian and American governments have categorically said ‘no’ to Huawei because of security concerns.
Australians should be listened to.
They were China’s test case in aggressively infiltrating a first world country by investing significantly in their major industries, signing a ‘not-so-fair’ trade deal and using cyberattacks to target Australia’s democratic institutions.
Today Australia is fortifying itself against China.
China’s current attacks on Canadian farmers should also be a warning about tying ourselves further to that regime.
Why do we want to trade with a country who penalized our agricultural exports because of America’s choice to exercise a bilateral extradition agreement requiring Canada to arrest and detain Huawei financial chief, Meng Wanzhou?
Why would Canada pursue more trade with, or investment from, a country that still has our two Michael’s held captive in retaliation for following our judicial commitment to the rule of law?
The recently signed first phase trade agreement between the United States and China does little to address China’s unfair trade practices—stolen trade secrets, propped up state-owned enterprises creating powerful monopolies or unfair trading practices, and only touches marginally on China’s currency manipulation practices.
In fact, the agreement substantially dealt with the inconvenient truth that Trump’s trade war on China disproportionately affected his voting base in rural America and his need for re-election.
After Nexon’s Chinese takeover, former Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a gutsy decision to restrict the takeover of Canada companies by state-run Chinese companies.
Ironically, if such a law weren’t in place today, Premier Kenney wouldn’t have to chase to London to beg for investment dollars or steal control of public service pension assets to create his own internal cache of money to fund oil and gas investment.
Money equals power and Kenney’s latest missile that Alberta universities and colleges are going to have 30 per cent of their provincial funding tied to market-driven successes, including raising outside sources of money, all come with unintended pitfalls.
May we never forget all those academic researchers, funded by big tobacco, who for decades found no correlation between smoking and lung cancer. Already the size and number of Huawei donations to, and influence on, Canadian universities should be a concern.
Kenney’s decisions to further privatize education only enhances Huawei’s control over Canada’s brain trusts.
Telus, Bell and Rogers favour Huawei equipment. It is cheaper and can be delivered quicker making it a no-brainer business decision.
However, Huawei’s two major competitors in 5G technology, Nokia and Ericsson, are private companies operating in democracies.
Remember how peeved Albertans were when the federal liberals created PetroCanada—a government entity competing against the private sector.
Huawei is a similar type of beast but controlled by a communist regime.
Regardless of the economic consequences, Harper’s decision to restrict Chinese state-owned or state-supported monopolies from buying up our oil sands was a wise move because communism is never to be trusted.
The same care should be taken when considering Huawei for our 5G network.
There are extreme dangers inherent in an internet system that few understand— including governments, regulators and citizens—and that today controls most of our lives.
Cheap 5G and happy Canadian pocketbooks, or security—such a difficult decision in a consumer-frenzied world.