Feds hired ‘blacklisted’ Chinese firm to build X-ray scanners at Canadian embassies

The Trudeau government awarded a $6.8 million contract to Nuctech Company Ltd. in 2020 to supply security equipment for 170 embassies, consulates and high commissions worldwide. The company had been blacklisted as a U.S. supplier since 2014.

Feds hired ‘blacklisted’ Chinese firm to build X-ray scanners at Canadian embassies
The Canadian Press / Adrian Wyld
Remove Ads

The Department of Foreign Affairs earlier refused to say which state-controlled Chinese contractor it hired to run security at Canadian embassies abroad.

“Due to national security considerations the name of the supplier ultimately selected cannot be provided,” said a department report to the government operations committee. 

“Would you provide to the committee who you finally chose for scanners at our embassies?” asked Conservative MP Kelly McCauley. Managers did not specify, prompting protests by committee members. 

“Security and safety of people in Canada’s embassies, consulates and high commissions around the globe is a top priority,” wrote the Department of Foreign Affairs. “Any possible issue relative to security or safety is properly reviewed.”

The Trudeau government awarded a $6.8 million contract to Nuctech Company Ltd. in 2020 to supply security equipment for 170 embassies, consulates and high commissions worldwide. It is partly owned by state-run China National Nuclear Corporation.

The son of former General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Hu Jintao, founded the company.

In the 2021 report, Ensuring Robust Security In Federal Purchasing, MPs demanded the federal government cancel the contract. 

Canada should “prohibit Chinese state-owned enterprises, partial state-owned enterprises … from obtaining federal contracts related to information technology or security equipment and services,” it said.

The company had been blacklisted as a U.S. supplier since 2014 for having “direct connections to the People’s Liberation Army and the Chinese Communist Party.” 

Canada did not perform a security check in advance, reported Blacklock’s Reporter. The foreign affairs department “did not believe a security clearance was necessary,” an internal memo said at the time.

Nuctech is considered the “Huawei of airport security,” supplying X-ray machines and other systems to airports and customs offices in 160 countries. 

Critics earlier alleged China of subsidizing its companies to outbid Western competitors. They point out that no Canadian company would be allowed to install security equipment in any Chinese embassy.

Guy Saint-Jacques, a former Canadian ambassador in Beijing, urged change in the federal bidding process. “There are long-term implications for Western economies,” he said.

Nuctech received the contract because it “had the lowest bid” over Canadian firms, said a Department of Public Works memo. Security companies submitted bids in December 2019.

Nuctech has been involved in several controversies including alleged bribery cases in Africa and Taiwan, and allegations the company sold inferior products at inflated prices to Malaysia and the Philippines.

The company has also been accused of offering soft loans and illegal dumping.

Global Affairs Canada later struck Nuctech from the list of bidders eligible for government contracts. “The department has not and will not use Nuctech,” said Robost Security.

Remove Ads
Remove Ads

Don't Get Censored

Big Tech is censoring us. Sign up so we can always stay in touch.

Remove Ads