Canadian Security Magazine

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China Mobile presses court for federal info to help fight national security case


OTTAWA — A Chinese state-owned telecom firm is pressing for disclosure of federal information to help the company fight Ottawa’s order that its Canadian affiliate be sold or shut down on national security grounds.

In a Federal Court hearing today, a government lawyer defended the move to shield the records on the basis they are cabinet confidences.

After listening to arguments from both sides, the court reserved judgment on the matter until a later date.

One year ago, the federal government informed China Mobile of a review on security grounds, saying its Canadian business could be leveraged by the Chinese state to harm Canada.

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Last August, the government directed China Mobile to either sell or wind up the Canadian business.

China Mobile wants the Federal Court to set aside the decision, saying the government has no grounds to believe the company would compromise security or engage in espionage on behalf of Beijing.

The company says that as part of the fight to overturn Ottawa’s decision, it is entitled to see various internal federal documents created in the lead-up to the government order.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2022.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2022.