The Trudeau government is suspending all research grant applications associated with a Chinese military research facility or laboratory. In general, applications relating to a national defense organization of a “foreign actor” threatening Canadian security will now also be rejected.
Posted at 8:41 p.m
This was announced by the Minister for Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, on Tuesday evening. In a press release, he reiterates that “any application for a research grant in a sensitive area will be rejected if any of the researchers involved in the project” belong to a “foreign state actor who poses a threat to our national security”. .
However, according to government sources, the new policy would mainly affect China and Russia, but could eventually target other states as well.
The whole thing comes a month after a Globe and Mail investigation that revealed “close collaboration” between Canadian universities and Chinese military scientists in recent weeks. Minister Champagne immediately undertook to introduce new control rules.
Ottawa is also calling on the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to “take stronger action on national security.
“The cutting-edge research being conducted in Canada puts the country at the forefront of global discoveries, which can make it an attractive target for foreign state actors,” he said. Minister Champagne, in a joint statement with Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos and Minister of Public Security, Marco Mendicino.
By making “protecting Canadian research” an “absolute priority”, the three ministers also “conjure up an environment where threats are constantly evolving” and believe that other measures are needed to reverse the trend.
Local universities called for this
Ottawa also says it has urged Universities Canada and U15, the Association of Canadian Research Universities, to “adopt similar policies for all of their research partnerships, especially those in sensitive areas.” “We will work closely with our academic colleagues to ensure that these additional measures are implemented effectively,” the ministers emphasize.
They promise that this “enhanced policy” will be put together “quickly and in close consultation with our departments, national security agencies and the research community.”
An aircraft was shot down over the Yukon on Saturday on orders from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. It was the third unidentified aircraft to be destroyed in North American airspace in a week. Remember, a first Chinese balloon was shot down by Washington off the Atlantic coast on February 4th.
According to the Pentagon, the machine had flown over sensitive military terrain. For its part, Beijing claimed to have used the plane “for research purposes, mainly meteorological,” but according to images captured by American military aircraft, the balloon was well equipped with spy tools.