Chinese Takeover of Canadian Technology

June 21, 2017

Governments around the world are very cautious when Chinese companies seek to take over western technology companies. The one exception seems to be the Canadian Government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

With little or no scrutiny, the Liberal government is allowing the sale of Vancouver-based Norsat International Inc. to the Chinese company Hytera Communications. Norsat International owns patented satellite communications technology that has security, public safety, and defence applications. Norsat’s customers include the Pentagon and the Canadian Coast Guard. Shockingly, the Liberals refused to conduct a national security review of this potential takeover against the advice of national security experts.

Richard Fadden, a former head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, said that he would have “suggested a review out of an abundance of caution.”

University of British Columbia professor Michael Byers said it is “incomprehensible” that this takeover is not being subject to a national security review.

China’s Ambassador has suggested that national security reviews constitute “protectionism”. Judging by their actions, the Trudeau Government apparently agrees. However, Canadians did not elect this government under the expectation that Canada would become subordinate to Beijing and that China’s interests would be put ahead of Canadian interests, or those of its allies.

Further muddying the water is the Liberal Party’s history of holding exclusive fundraisers with Chinese billionaires with ties to China’s Communist Government. Questions remain over the donation from one of these Chinese businessmen, who shortly after a fundraiser with Justin Trudeau, donated $200,000 to the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation as well as $50,000 to build a statue of the former prime minister.

As the Official opposition, we call on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to set aside his admiration for China’s basic dictatorship; respect Canada’s traditional allies and alliances, such as NATO and NORAD; and immediately undertake stringent national security reviews of this and any other proposed sale of Canadian technology to China.