Announcing the ban in a statement, the minister of innovation, science and industry François-Philippe Champagne said, “Today, the Government of Canada is ensuring the long term safety of our telecommunications infrastructure. As part of that, the government intends to prohibit the inclusion of Huawei and ZTE products and services in Canada’s telecommunications systems.”
He said the decision followed a review by Canadian security agencies and in consultation with its closest allies.
As a result, he added, telecommunications companies operating in Canada will “no longer be permitted to make use of designated equipment or services provided by Huawei and ZTE.
“And, companies that already use this equipment installed in their networks will be “required to cease its use and remove it.”
After an extensive review, Ottawa was “taking the necessary steps to protect Canadians and our telecommunications infrastructure,” minister of public safety Marco Mendocino said in a post on Twitter.
“In the 21st century, cybersecurity is national security. And it’s our government’s responsibility to protect Canadians from growing cyber threats,” he added.
Of the Five Eyes group of nations – US, UK, Australia and New Zealand – Canada was the only one yet to announce a ban or restrictions on Huawei.
A statement issued by Champagne’s department – innovation, science and economic development Canada – noted that given the greater interconnectedness and interdependence of 5G networks, “a breach or exploitation in this environment would have a more significant impact on the safety and security of Canadians and Canadian critical infrastructure than in previous network generations.”