Chinese controlling company loses court bid to suspend Ottawa’s sale order

Ottawa — State-owned China Mobile has lost a court bid to temporarily suspend Ottawa’s order to sell or dissolve its Canadian affiliate due to national security concerns.

In a ruling released Tuesday, Federal Court Secretary Paul Crumpton said the harm to the public interest caused by the continued operation of China Mobile International Canada would be inflicted on the company without maintaining order. He said it was “significantly greater” than harm.

In January, the federal government notified CMI Canada of a review on security reasons, stating that Chinese states could leverage their business for foreign interference and critical infrastructure breaches.

In August, the government ordered its parent company, China Mobile, to terminate or sell its Canadian business within 90 days, after which an extension was granted.

CMI Canada has stated that the government has no basis for believing that the company will infringe or spy on behalf of Beijing, and a federal order will be held during a full debate in court next year. Wanted to pause.

At a hearing last month, CMI Canada stated that without a stay, it would suffer irreparable damage and lose its customers, regulatory licenses, contracts, revenues, and the right to do business in Canada.

The company’s lawyer, Erica Baron, said that even if the company eventually succeeded in challenging a federal order during the judicial review process, it would have to start entirely from scratch unless the directive was withheld. Stated.

In a written submission to the court, the Government stated that CMI Canada “from an officer, executive, or employee of either China Mobile or CMI Canada, this allegation to establish the nature or extent of harm claimed by the attorney. I did not provide any direct evidence of this. ” They will suffer by obeying orders. “

China Mobile is a state-owned enterprise in China, “a country that poses a significant threat to Canada and Canadians through espionage and foreign intervention,” the submission added.

Federal lawyer Sean Gaudet argues that CMI Canada should be allowed to continue operations, but argues that “this does not benefit the public, orders should be executed.” And let the judicial review follow that path, and a decision will be made. “

NS Jim Bron Skill

Canadian press