According to a government announcement made on Tuesday, Canada will discontinue supporting research projects on sensitive areas if any of the researchers engaged have ties to defense or security organizations of adversarial foreign powers.
“Canada’s advanced research ecosystem is at the forefront of global discovery, but it can also be an attractive target for foreign state actors that pose a risk to our national security,” the ministers of science, health and public safety said in a joint statement.
In order to do this, “grant applications that involve conducting research in a sensitive research field will not be awarded” if any of the participants are connected to a university or institute that is connected to a foreign security organization that is viewed negatively by Canada.
The government requested that universities follow the same rules. Which sections are regarded as sensitive was not made clear in the announcement?
The action was taken in response to the Globe and Mail newspaper’s January disclosure that numerous Canadian universities had worked with Chinese military-affiliated scientists for years.
Canadian authorities detained a former researcher for the Hydro-Quebec electrical business in November on suspicion of spying for China, marking a first for the country.
Since Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei, was detained by Canada in 2018 at the request of Washington, relations between China and Canada have worsened dramatically.