RCMP contract at Sinclair: “There were no violations,” Mendicino assures

This was stated by federal public safety minister Marco Mendicino, who answered questions from parliamentarians who are members of the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology in Ottawa on Monday afternoon.

Mr. Mendicino was accompanied on the occasion by two senior officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), including US Deputy Commissioner Brian Larkin. RCMP Specialist Police and his colleague Samantha Hazen, Director of Finance.

The job, announced last December by Radio-Canada, involves the awarding of a $550,000 contract in October 2022 to provide ground radio communications for the Gendarmerie.

However, the company that won the contract, Sinclair Technologies, is based in Ontario but since 2017 has been controlled by China’s Hytera Communications.

Hytera Communications, which is partly owned by the Chinese government, is viewed with suspicion by many Western governments when it comes to security and communications, particularly those of the police and national security services.

US federal authorities consider Hytera a national security threat to the US. The sale of its new products was banned in the United States in November last year, as was the case with Huawei.

“RCMP communications are protected”

After the broadcast of the Radio-Canada report RCMP announced the termination of the contract and assured that the equipment sold by Sinclair Technologies did not pose a security threat.

Even more troubling, federal government procurement officials told Radio-Canada that national security was not considered in awarding this sensitive contract to Sinclair Technologies.

Minister Mendicino assured this on Monday the RCMP investigated the purchase, installation and maintenance of the equipment in this matter and concluded that it followed the appropriate policies and protocols at all times..

There were no security breaches […] and the risks at the time of purchase were and remain low. »

quote from Marco Mendicino, Federal Minister of Public Security

Mr. Mendicino clarified this equipment purchased by RCMP [de Sinclair Technologies] as part of this proposal, it consists of iron joints, metal rods and cables that filter spurious signals in order to optimize the radio frequency..

According to the minister, the equipment in question does not have the technical capabilities to access radio communication RCMP. Moreover, he says radio communication RCMP Protected by end-to-end encryption using the Canadian Cyber ​​Security Center encryption standard.

There is no reason to believe that Canada’s national security is at any time threatened during the process. »

quote from Marco Mendicino, Federal Minister of Public Security

However, the minister admitted that the risks of foreign intervention are a constant threat. We turn a blind eye to external threats. That’s why we have strict procedures in place when purchasing equipment and services to support our public safety agencies.he said.

The information revealed by Radio-Canada threw a stone into the pond in Prime Minister Trudeau’s cabinet, which revealed that this situation happened in the following days. disturbing.

Despite the warnings of our security agencies against foreign intrusions into our institutions and structures, Canadian officials have signed agreements with questionable levels of security for our operations and the national security of our institutions, such as the federal police.Justin Trudeau who surprised the public.

The Prime Minister said he was stunned to hear the news, and said he has real questions for the civil servants who signed the contract and that his government plans to review security protocols related to tender calls.

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