© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: British Columbia’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), also known as Division “E”, in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Ben Nelms/File Photo
OTTAWA (Reuters) – The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has suspended a communication equipment contract awarded to a company with links to the Chinese government, a spokesman for Canada’s Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said. confirmed on Thursday.
Radio-Canada reported Wednesday that Ottawa has awarded a contract worth approximately C$550,000 (US$404,950) for a radio frequency filtering system to Ontario-based Sinclair Technologies in 2021.
According to the report, uses of the device include protecting the RCMP’s land-based radio communications from eavesdropping.
Sinclair Technologies is a unit of British Columbia-based Norsat International, which was acquired by Hytera Communications in 2017. Chinese state-owned Shenzhen Investment Holdings Co owns about 9 percent of Hytera, according to Refinitiv data.
The United States Federal Communications Commission has placed Hytera on a list of foreign communications equipment and service providers deemed a threat to the national security of the United States.
The news of the contract comes as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is highlighting the risks posed by foreign interference in Canada and challenging China with a new strategy for the Indo-Pacific region. Positive.
Prime Minister Trudeau on Wednesday said it was “disturbing” that some parts of government security agencies advised to be very careful about foreign interference while others were contracting. “have a questionable level of security.”
A spokesman for Mendicino said the contract had been suspended, but declined to provide details.
Sinclair and Hytera did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
($1 = 1.3582 Canadian dollars)