Time for another Yellow Scare already?
With the crater still smoking from the torpedoed $1.5B Aecon takeover by China’s CCCC, the Globe and Minion cranked up the air raid siren last week on telecom giant Huawei Technologies, “a firm regarded as a corporate arm of the Chinese state– and considered one of the world’s top cyberintelligence threats,” and the $600 million it has inscrutably plunked into R&D in Canada.
Cue the sturm und drang from the Tories as backbencher Glen Motz (Con.–Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner) got up on his hind legs in the House to wave the weekend paper around: “Mr. Speaker, Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies has established vast Canadian networks aimed at acquiring leading-edge 5G wireless technology. Huawei was previously implicated in stealing trade secrets and spying, which is why Canadian and American intelligence and security officials continue to warn that it is a significant cybersecurity risk because of its connections with Communist China. When will the Liberals launch a full review of Huawei’s activities in Canada?”
Deja vu all over again in March, when former spymasters Ward Elcock, John Adams and Richard Fadden warned the Globe in three-part harmony of potential Huawei hacking horrors, and it fell to Conservative house leader Candice Bergen to read out the headlines:
“Recently, a U.S. Senate committee heard compelling testimony from four U.S. agencies, including the FBI and the CIA, which says that Huawei poses a serious cybersecurity threat. Does the Prime Minister recognize that there may be a threat to Canadian cybersecurity? What is he doing to stop China-owned Huawei from spying on Canadians?”
If the Tories have been reduced to scanning the pages of the dailies for their QP frothers on the heathen Chinee, it’s certainly no reflection on the dedicated team in the Office of the Leader of the Opposition, where chief of staff David McArthur is, incidentally, for the high jump.
Tory supremo Andrew Scheer announced the housecleaning in an email to Tory staffers at five to three on a Friday afternoon. The decision was “mutually agreed upon between myself and Mr. McArthur.”
And also mutual between McArthur and everybody who dealt with him. Dave-o would have been solid senior bureaucrat on a five-year plan, or chief of staff at Vet’s Affairs, Revenue, or some similar, who-gives-a-shit ministry. Alas, the pace of quarterbacking Her Majesty’s Loyal has proved a bit much, and his acting successor, deputy Marc-André Leclerc, faces a formidable backlog of files.
Among the many, many things not getting done in the OLO was finding a replacement for media relations director Jake Enwright, who gave his notice some weeks ago, and only now, with former Wildrose Party talking pointer Brock Harrison finally subbing in, could reveal to the Globe he’s “taking a job off Parliament Hill, and it has been cleared by both the ethics and the lobbying commissioners.”
A surfeit of discretion prevented Jake from mentioning that his new gig will be as, ahem, PR thingy for…Huawei!