Thursday, June 15, 2017
Navy contractor found trying to leak Canadian secrets to Chinese embassy loses court challenge
Ian Smith/Postmedia Network filesA Canadian citizen who immigrated from China, Huang worked at Lloyd’s Register Canada, which was subcontracted by Irving Shipbuilding to work on the design phase of Canada’s Arctic patrol vessels.
TORONTO — A naval contractor accused of trying to pass Canadian secrets to the Chinese embassy in Ottawa has lost a constitutional challenge against one of the charges against him.
Qing Quentin Huang had argued the charge of “knowingly communicating to a foreign entity” his willingness to provide classified information was a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
But Justice Alfred J. O’Marra of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice upheld the section of the Security of Information Act in question. Huang faces two counts of the charge.
A Canadian citizen who immigrated from China, Huang worked at Lloyd’s Register Canada, which was subcontracted by Irving Shipbuilding to work on the design phase of Canada’s Arctic patrol vessels.
In 2013, he allegedly phoned the Chinese embassy twice to say he was willing to disclose classified information. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service notified the RCMP.
An undercover officer posing as a Chinese embassy official met Huang and asked him to download the documents onto a USB drive, which he provided. Huang was arrested in Burlington, Ont. on Nov. 30, 2013.
He has been charged with two counts of attempting to “communicate to a foreign entity” information that the Canadian government “is taking measures to safeguard.”
He was also later charged with two counts of “knowingly communicating” his willingness to steal secrets. It was the latter charge that he had challenged in court at a hearing in March.
To make his case, Huang cited the hypothetical example of a teenage boy who contacted Russia offering to provide Canadian secrets, even though he had no access to sensitive information.
Aaron Vincent Elkaim/CPChief Superintendent Larry Tremblay, announces the arrest of 53-year-old Qing Quentin Huang of Toronto for charges under the Security of Information Act with two attempts to communicate to China, sensitive Canadian government information at a press conference in Toronto on Sunday, Dec 1, 2013.
“The applicant submits that unless the section is interpreted to require proof that the possibility of committing the offence is objectively reasonable, there is a risk that expressions of criminal thoughts, without more, will be captured,” the judge wrote.
But Justice O’Marra said he did not accept that the section cast “an unconstitutionally wide net,” adding it was “hard to conceive” that charges would be approved “based on mere criminal ideation with no basis in reality.”