Skip to main content

RCMP suspends contract awarded to company with ties to Chinese government


The RCMP has suspended a controversial contract it had awarded to a Canadian company whose parent organization has ties to the Chinese government, CTV News has confirmed.

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino’s office told CTV News on Thursday that the contract the RCMP inked in October 2021, worth $549,637, with Ontario-based Sinclair Technologies Inc. for radio frequency filters, is now on pause.

Earlier in the day, Mendicino told reporters that the RCMP was "looking very carefully" at the equipment that was installed and going forward there is more rigorous screening when contracts are awarded that may have national security implications.

"Obviously if there were any concerns or if there was any flaws in this process around the contract, then there should be very quick and immediate steps taken to suspend or cancel the contract altogether," he said.

After this contract came to light, the RCMP said the national police force's radio communications were protected with end-to-end encryption and that radio frequency filtration equipment "poses no security concerns nor does it allow access to radio communications."

"The contract was awarded in accordance with Federal Government procurement policies and regulations, and in accordance with the Trade Agreements," the RCMP said on Wednesday.

In a previous statement to CTV News, Sinclair said it is a trusted and independent company. It cited privacy reasons for being unable to comment further.

The RCMP contract is not the only one the federal government has awarded to Sinclair Technologies.

CTV News has found a number of other contracts, worth upwards of $90,000 each, since Sinclair’s parent company Norsat was bought in 2017 by Hytera, which is partially owned by the Chinese government. The contracts included those with the RCMP, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Department of National Defence.

Hytera's products are banned from being sold or imported in the United States over national security concerns.

On Thursday, the Department of National Defence said it was aware of the concerns surrounding Sinclair Technologies and was "investigating these procurements and the way in which this equipment is used, alongside counterparts in other government departments."

"The government will take all measures necessary to ensure the security of our infrastructure," said the department in a statement.

For the second day in a row, the issue prompted a series of questions to the federal government in the House of Commons.

On her way into question period, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly—who recently rolled out a new Indo-Pacific Strategy signalling a tougher stance on China—said the "independent public service" should "never" have signed these contracts.

"We needed to put a national lens on our contracts and our decision-making. This is the position of the government going forward," Joly said. 

With files from CTV News' Annie-Bergeron Oliver and Michael Lee




opinion Don Martin: How a beer break may have doomed the carbon tax hike

When the Liberal government chopped a planned beer excise tax hike to two per cent from 4.5 per cent and froze future increases until after the next election, says political columnist Don Martin, it almost guaranteed a similar carbon tax move in the offing. Top Stories

Local Spotlight

Stay Connected