Saskatchewan’s Opposition NDP wants the government to investigate any risk that may be posed by the relationship between Chinese firm Huawei Technologies and the province’s main telecom provider.
Leader Ryan Meili says allegations against Huawei of espionage and security threats may require Crown-owned SaskTel to cut its contract with the company.
Meili has written a letter to Premier Scott Moe calling for an immediate moratorium on any further deals between SaskTel and Huawei.
The NDP says SaskTel ratepayers have provided Huawei with $181 million for services since 2010.
It adds there’s a joint agreement with the University of Regina to provide improved mobile phone services to the post-secondary institution.
The Saskatchewan government hasn’t immediately responded to a request for comment.
Meili is also asking the government to provide a thorough description of Huawei’s involvement with SaskTel.
“This government needs to exercise extreme caution and may need to extricate SaskTel from its contractual relationships with this company,” Meili said Tuesday in a statement.
Huawei helped build Canada’s 5G wireless networks, which security analysts warn could give Beijing backdoor access to revealing data about Canadians.
Daniel Tobok, an international cyber security expert who heads the company Cytelligence, has said Canada is potentially connected to Huawei forever as it will need to rely on the company’s support for maintenance and upgrades.
Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei said Tuesday that the company would not comply with any Chinese government requests to disclose confidential information about its foreign customers and their communication networks.
Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, was detained by Canada on Dec. 1 at the request of the United States.
The U.S. wants Meng extradited to face charges that she committed fraud by misleading banks about the company’s business dealings in Iran.
With files from The Associated Press
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