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Huawei not only firm that could build Canada's eventual 5G networks: Goodale

Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale listens to RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki, not shown, during a press conference on the RCMP's new Interim Management Advisory Board in Ottawa on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Federal public safety minister says government is still reviewing Huawei's request to gain access to Canada 5G network

'We will make the decision that's in Canada's best interest,' Goodale says of Huawei's request for access to 5G network

OTTAWA — Federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says Chinese telecom giant Huawei isn’t the only company that can build Canadian next-generation wireless networks.

He says the government is conducting a very thorough examination.

“We will make the decision that’s in Canada’s best interest, and we will not compromise security,” Goodale told reporters on Parliament Hill Monday morning.

His remarks come after China’s ambassador to Canada warned last week of repercussions if the federal government bars the telecom company from supplying equipment for faster, more resilient communications systems than cellphone users have now.

Chinese envoy Lu Shaye made the comments during his first media event since the RCMP arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on Dec. 1 at the request of the United States.

Meng’s arrest has infuriated China, which has since detained two Canadians in moves that have pushed Canada-China diplomatic relations to a new low.

A third Canadian has also been handed a death sentence since the Huawei CFO’s arrest. There have been reports those men are being mistreated in jail by Chinese authorities.

Canadian security agencies are still reviewing the security and technical issues surrounding the potential involvement of Huawei and other companies in new 5G networks for smartphones and other wireless communication devices.

The review are taking place even though several of Canada’s allies have already taken steps to block the company from their 5G networks due to national security concerns.

When asked about the ongoing national-security review, Goodale said there are other suppliers besides Huawei that can set up Canada’s 5G networks.