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Ontario and Huawei Linked in Controversial Deal

According to the Toronto Sun, Ontario has been linked to a Chinese company that has been surrounded by controversy. The company, telecommunications firm Huawei, has been viewed as a threat to United States security but Canada does not feel the same way.

“If I were an American company today, and I’ll tell you this as the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and you are looking at Huawei, I would find another vendor if you care about your intellectual property, if you care about your consumers’ privacy, and you care about the national security of the United States of America,” Congressman Mike Rogers told 60 Minutes’s Steve Kroft on Sunday.

A report about Huawei was released on Monday that urges the United States not to deal with the company because it cannot be trusted since “China has the means, opportunity, and motive to use telecommunications companies for malicious purposes.”

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The company received a $6.5 million investment from Ontario, all of which is taxpayer money.

“Our government is proud to partner with Huawei, one of the world’s leading telecommunications technology companies, on their most recent expansion into Ontario. Setting up their Canadian headquarters in Markham and their R&D Centre of Excellence in Ottawa speaks to the confidence Huawei has in Ontario’s skilled workforce and competitive business environment,” Economic Development Minister Sandra Pupatello said in 2011.

According to the website for the Ontario Government, “during Premier McGuinty’s latest trade mission to China, Huawei-Ontario announced a $67 million (investment) in the expansion of the company’s Ottawa R&D Centre to help consolidate the company’s leadership in the global marketplace, and help create 164 new good jobs.”

Scott Bradley, a Canadian spokesman for Huawei, said the following: “We recognize, that as a Chinese-based telecommunications company, it is fair and reasonable to expect that we would be under some scrutiny from government. For this reason, we have worked to conduct ourselves in a manner that positively reflects our contribution to Canada. We are creating new jobs, we are investing directly in Canadian R&D, we are opening up our global supply chain to Canadian manufacturers, and we are delivering leading-edge technologies that will ensure Canadian companies in both urban and rural Canada can be competitive with the rest of the world.”

A spokesman for Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid, Andrew Block, said: “we’ll review the 60 Minutes report, but while we are aware of issues raised in the past, we have not seen evidence related to Huawei’s activities here that are cause for concern in terms of our relationship with them.”

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