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Chinese Ambassador Warns Canada Not to Ban Huawei from 5G Networks – iPhone in Canada

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The Chinese government has warned Canada not to ban Huawei regarding 5G hardware to build out the country’s future wireless networks.

According to Reuters, the Chinese ambassador—Lu Shaye—issued the warning through an interpreter at a news conference today:

“I believe there will be repercussions” if Huawei were to be banned, said Lu, who spoke through an interpreter. He urged Ottawa to make a “wise” decision.

[…]

Lu said when Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland – who has strongly criticized China’s actions – goes to the World Economic Forum in Davos next week she should not try to rally support.

Canada and China’s diplomatic relations have reached high tensions of late, after Huawei chief financial offer Meng Wanzhou—daughter of the company’s founder—was arrested in Vancouver last month, based on a U.S. extradition request. She was released on $10 million bail and currently remains in one of her two Vancouver homes, awaiting possible U.S. extradition.

In response, China has since detained two Canadians, while also sentencing a former convicted Canadian man from B.C. to death, after his original drug smuggling sentencing was deemed not harsh enough.

Canada’s Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland, spoke tough about China earlier this week, saying the “arbitrary detentions of Canadians … represent a way of behaving which is a threat to all countries,” according to The Canadian Press.

Responding to Freeland today, China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, retorted “I think your foreign minister may be in a hurry, and can’t help speaking without thinking,” when asked by media what threat China was posing to Canada.

Huawei 5G equipment is being used by both Bell and Telus to trial the faster next-generation wireless technology. SaskTel has worked with Huawei since 2010; NDP opposition leader Ryan Meili has asked the Saskatchewan Premier to review the relationship.

Critics, such as the United States, argue Huawei equipment poses a threat to national security, with its ties to the Chinese Communist Party. Its founder, Red Wanzhou, was previously part of China’s People’s Liberation Army and Communist Party. The United States, along with Australia and New Zealand, have all banned Huawei networking equipment.

Canada’s inclusion of Huawei for 5G threatens U.S. national security, over fears of espionage, according to American intelligence officials.

While Canada has not banned Huawei, the government has undergone a security review for 5G technology. According to an unnamed source speaking with Reuters, “the study would not be released in the immediate future.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not called for a ban on Huawei, unlike his predecessor, Stephen Harper, who has cited the Chinese company as a long-term security concern.

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City reacts to Aurora Cannabis announcement

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“I’ve been talking a lot about Aurora around Medicine Hat since April of 2018 and celebrating the fact that they came here, chose us over Quebec or anywhere else in Canada they could have gone, and what a great thing it is for the community and the jobs and just the optimism,” he said. “I’ve sensed an increase of optimism in the community.

“When I heard this news yesterday, it was a setback, and I’m disappointed. They’re a private company, this has nothing to do with the City of Medicine Hat. They’re free to make any decision they need to make.”

In its report, Aurora cited lower than expected revenue from cannabis as a reason for the decision.

The decision about the construction will save Aurora a total of $190 million dollars.

Lisa Kowalchuk, executive director of the Medicine Hat and District Chamber of Commerce, says she believes Aurora remains committed to Medicine Hat.

“Aurora has very much been committed to our community and very invested in our community,” she said. “They re very engaged within our community and with our chamber. So I don’t see them going away anytime soon.”

CHAT News attempted to speak with Aurora Cannabis on Friday, but were instead provided a statement, which clarified its position from Thursday.

“There has been no halt to construction at the facility,” wrote Michelle Lefler, VP Communications at Aurora, on Friday. “We are continuing to build with adjusted timelines that are more closely aligned with how cannabis markets develop.

The statement continues, “We expect to have at least six flower rooms completed and in operation in 2020, for a total of 238,000 square feet, which includes the mother room. As was done with Aurora Sky and is the case with all Sky-Class facilities, we will pursue a phased approach to bringing additional grow rooms online, and still intend to build 30 grow rooms at Sun.”

“Additional operations at the facility will be activated as global demand develops, with a target date for full operations in 2021. Previously, we had intended to build at an accelerated speed. This is a more normalized pace for a project of this size and is aligned with how markets are growing.”

The company adds they remain committed to investment in Medicine Hat, and still intends to hire around 800 people to work at the facility once its completed.

Clugston adds he remains optimistic about the facility being completed.

We remain committed to investment in the Medicine Hat community as planned. At this time, we still intend to hire a final staff complement of around 800 people upon facility completion. We want to make sure that all local and government partners continue to work with us to support our commitments to significant investment in Alberta’s economy.

“As an optimist, they’ve shown interest and invested obviously a lot of money in the facility, and I really do hope and believe that it will be up and running at 100 per cent,” he said.

Clugston says council will meet with Aurora executives in a closed-door session prior to Monday’s city council meeting. He adds the meeting was planned before Thursday’s announcement.

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CN conductors union gives 72-hour strike notice

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Canadian National Railways conductors, trainpersons and yardpersons have given strike notice ahead of a Tuesday deadline.

The union, which represents 3,200 workers, provided the 72-hour notice today as contract negotiations continue over the weekend.

The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference warned in October it was prepared to launch job action after over six months of unsuccessful talks.

A strike could begin at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 19 now that the notice has been provided.

The company says its offer to enter into binding arbitration was declined by the union.

The workers, who are mostly located in major urban centres across Canada, have been without a contract since July 23.

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CN Rail confirms layoffs

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CN Rail has made the “difficult decision” to lay off an unspecified number of workers and take other measures to reflect demand.

A spokesperson for CN said some employees would be placed on furlough and management and union job numbers would be cut “due to a weakening of many sectors of the economy.”

“These adjustments have already started to take place across the network,” senior media relations adviser Alexandre Boulé said in an emailed statement.

“CN would like to express gratitude to the employees who will be leaving the company and thank them for their service.”

He would not confirm how many jobs would be affected.

The news was first reported by the Globe and Mail on Friday afternoon, citing a source that was not authorized to speak publicly. The Globe reported that there would be roughly 1,600 job losses in North America.

According to its website, CN transports more than $250 billion worth of goods annually across its 32,000-kilometre rail network within Canada and the U.S.

The company says it has about 24,000 staff.

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