RCMP suspends contract with China-linked company

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The RCMP has suspended a controversial contract it had awarded to a Canadian company whose guardian group has ties to the Chinese authorities, CTV News has confirmed.


Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino’s workplace instructed CTV News on Thursday that the contract the RCMP inked in October 2021, value $549,637, with Ontario-based Sinclair Technologies Inc. for radio frequency filters, is now on pause.


Earlier within the day, Mendicino instructed reporters that the RCMP was “wanting very fastidiously” on the tools that was put in and going ahead there’s extra rigorous screening when contracts are awarded that will have nationwide safety implications.


“Obviously if there have been any issues or if there was any flaws on this course of across the contract, then there must be very fast and instant steps taken to droop or cancel the contract altogether,” he mentioned.


After this contract got here to gentle, the RCMP mentioned the nationwide police drive’s radio communications had been protected with end-to-end encryption and that radio frequency filtration tools “poses no safety issues nor does it enable entry to radio communications.”


“The contract was awarded in accordance with Federal Government procurement insurance policies and laws, and in accordance with the Trade Agreements,” the RCMP mentioned on Wednesday.


In a earlier assertion to CTV News, Sinclair mentioned it’s a trusted and unbiased company. It cited privateness causes for being unable to remark additional.


The RCMP contract shouldn’t be the one one the federal authorities has awarded to Sinclair Technologies.


CTV News has discovered numerous different contracts, value upwards of $90,000 every, since Sinclair’s guardian company Norsat was purchased in 2017 by Hytera, which is partially owned by the Chinese authorities. The contracts included these with the RCMP, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Department of National Defence.


Hytera’s merchandise are banned from being offered or imported within the United States over nationwide safety issues.


On Thursday, the Department of National Defence mentioned it was conscious of the issues surrounding Sinclair Technologies and was “investigating these procurements and the way in which during which this tools is used, alongside counterparts in different authorities departments.”


“The authorities will take all measures needed to make sure the safety of our infrastructure,” mentioned the division in an announcement.


For the second day in a row, the problem prompted a collection of inquiries to the federal authorities within the House of Commons.


On her manner into query interval, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly—who lately rolled out a brand new Indo-Pacific Strategy signalling a harder stance on China—mentioned the “unbiased public service” ought to “by no means” have signed these contracts.


“We wanted to place a nationwide lens on our contracts and our decision-making. This is the place of the federal government going ahead,” Joly mentioned. 


With information from CTV News’ Annie-Bergeron Oliver and Michael Lee

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