Is Harper their innocent rube?
Prime Minister Stephen Harper loves the Chinese government.
He's always there, it seems, and loves to sign fat contracts with the Chinese.
Harper is close to signing a $ 250 million contract with the giant Huawei company for a telecommunications network at the Department of National Defence.
But there is a huge problem.
Mike Rogers, head of the U.S. Committee on Intelligence, warns Harper not to sign the contract, not to give the Chinese access to our military secrets.
Rogers says that military communications networks between Canada and the United States are so intertwined that entry into a system gives access into the second system.
In a scathing report released Monday in Washington, the congressional committee described Huawei, the Chinese giant, as a threat to U.S. national security, and urged U.S. and Canadian telecom companies already using the Chinese firm " to find other suppliers. "
Britain and Australia have taken Rogers' advice and found other suppliers.
The American committee concluded that Huawei could be used by Chinese cyber spies to steal American trade secrets or even disrupt power grids and banking systems in times of conflict.
Huawei is the second largest global provider of telecommunications equipment.
It already provides high-speed networks at Bell Canada, Telus, SaskTel and Wind Mobile - contracts that the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper openly applauded.
The Canadian government data system was contaminated in 2010 by a massive cyber attack. It was traced back to China, the same country where Harper now wants to buy a replacement system.
Just letting Huawei even go near a part of this new network, would be courting disaster, Rogers said. "There are your personal data. It could be your medical records, financial documents, all that is dear to you that you think is enclosed in a safe place on your computer that goes through these networks and becomes subject to being collected by the Chinese government."
Rogers advises Harper ask the National Security Council of Canada for its own assessment of the threat.
There is a problem. Harper abolished the National Security Council of Canada two years ago soon after the board told him things he was not pleased to hear about the Chinese government.