While Ottawa has just banned the Chinese giant Huawei from the 5G network for security reasons, Quebec universities are continuing their research with millions with the controversial firm.
• Read also: China condemns ‘groundless’ Huawei 5G ban in Canada
At Université Laval, more than $13 million in projects are underway with Huawei, according to recent data obtained by The newspaper.
“For the moment, the announcement made concerns the commercial use of Huawei equipment and we do not yet know the implications of this government decision for research”, explained the spokesman of Laval University, Jean-François Hoopoe.
On the side of McGill University, it is said to have “a very limited number of research partnerships with Huawei Canada” without quantifying the funding.
“To date, no decisions have been made regarding ongoing research initiatives. That said, Canadian universities, the federal government and the private sector have a shared responsibility to ensure that our scientific enterprise and our intellectual property are safe from foreign threats,” concedes Frédérique Mazerolle, media relations.
At the National Institute for Scientific Research (INRS), which has four projects with the Chinese firm, it is also argued that “no decision has been made regarding the ongoing projects with Huawei but [que] INRS is closely monitoring the development of the situation”.
Million dollar rain
At the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), which has paid at least $32 million to Canadian universities for projects with Huawei, including $12 million in Quebec, over the past ten years, we recall the “lines guidelines” of last July.
“The guidelines do not target any country or company since the risks in terms of research security are constantly evolving and can come from anywhere in the world”, assures Martin Leroux in communications.
“Without any evidence”
Last May, the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Montreal was irritated to see Ottawa ban Huawei in this way.
“Without any evidence, the Canadian side has decided to exclude Huawei and ZTE from the Canadian market under the pretext of national security, which greatly amplifies the concept of national security, goes against the principles of market and free trade and violates the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies,” it said in writing. Journal.
According to Beijing, “the so-called security term is actually used for political intentions” in the 5G file.
“It should be noted that this kind of action could harm Canada’s international reputation and its own interests,” it concluded.
Huawei did not respond to our questions.
Last May, Ottawa said it was “very concerned that suppliers like Huawei and ZTE could be forced to comply with extrajudicial directives from a foreign government that would violate Canadian law or be detrimental to the interests of the Canada”.