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Ottawa, May 28 (Canadian-Media): Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked to examine both the security threat and cost-efficiency of transferring Canadian intellectual property to Chinese telecommunications' Huawei Technologies, media reports said.
About $50-million had been reportedly committed by Huawei to 13 leading Canadian universities, including the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo, McGill University and the University of British Columbia, to fund the development of 5G mobile technology to aid in the development of next-generation mobile networks.
Trudeau was asked to assemble a team of deputy ministers and top security officials to examine if Huawei posed a cybersecurity danger because of its close links to China’s ruling Communist Party.
It was revealed recently that Huawei was helping China’s state security apparatus spy on its Uyghur minority.
Former top Canadian intelligence officials' concern that Huawei could use 5G technology for espionage.
But Scott Bradley, Huawei spokesman, denied this charge.
The matter was referred to Industry Minister Navdeep Bains, who said "our government will never compromise national security and will always listen to the advice of public-security officials.”
Bains' concern was backed by the office of Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.
Ottawa patent prosecutor Natalie Raffoul said “the big question to be asking is, ‘How is this benefiting Canada...a certain amount of IP ownership remains in Canada, or at least profit-sharing remains with the Canadian entity” that participated in the research.
But Vivek Goel, vice-president of research and innovation with University of Toronto did not favour Ottawa's constraints about transferring ownership of university research and said, “it would be unfortunate if we took a stance of building a wall around Canada and leaving global industry out. We’re too small a market and we don’t have enough capital [domestically] to develop the intellectual property.”
However, McGill University law professor Richard Gold said, "We should welcome foreign investment in our research enterprise, but must ensure that the bulk of the benefits do not flow outward when Canadians are footing most of the bill.”