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Most Canadians want Huawei barred from 5G wireless network: poll

Citynews 1130 Vancouver

Last Updated Feb 11, 2020 at 11:51 am PDT

FILE - In this May 29, 2019, file photo, a woman walks by a Huawei retail store in Beijing. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

56 per cent want Canada to follow U.S., New Zealand and Australia in banning Chinese telelcom giant

One in three favour U.K. approach, giving Huawei limited access

Federal government has yet to make a decision

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A majority of Canadians want Huawei barred from Canada’s upcoming 5G wireless networks, according to a new poll.

An Angus Reid Institute survey finds that 56 per cent of people asked want Canada to follow the U.S., New Zealand and Australia in banning the Chinese telecom giant over national security concerns, including fears of espionage and access to critical infrastructure.

Around one in three favour the U.K. approach of giving Huawei limited access on the fringes of the 5G network, but not its core.

One in 10 favour allowing Huawei full access.

The Liberal federal government, however, has delayed making a decision regarding 5G access as relations with China have been tense. Conflict began over Canada’s extradition arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in December 2018 and China’s detention of Michael Korvig and Michael Spavor.

Shachi Kurl, executive director of the Angus Reid Institute, said the poll is slightly different than one conducted last year.

“When the question was simply ‘Yes, Huawei’ or ‘No, Huawei,’ the overwhelming view was, ‘no.’ But, of course, with the United Kingdom opening up partial access to the company, about a third are amenable to taking the middle way,” Kurl said.