Thank you, Mr. Chair, and again, very revealing.
The email references an official UBC point of view:
I would recommend we have one meeting in which all players are present.
Yves—you should trigger that meeting sooner rather than later....?
You wrote back saying, “I just sent the general email triggering the message.”
Another question I asked of you is if professors on the China council are involved in commercial negotiations with Huawei. You said no. I have here an email you received from Paul Evans on on March 9. It reads as follows:
Meigan set up a very good session for me on Wednesday with six of her...applied science colleagues. Crisp and informed discussion about experiences in working with China, Huawei related matters in particular, and the changing environment for future collaborations.
Reconciling national security concerns and related risks with advancing research and science is a complicated issue that they are all thinking about. So far there has been no interaction with Ottawa on this but clearly an interest in doing so.
I've suggested a second meeting with the same or a slightly enlarged group or the smaller UBC group (four of five were with us) negotiating with HW now. Meigan made the case that this is an issue where UBC could play a national leadership role. She'll do some internal consultations. Gail has informed.
I had asked you as well if the China council played a direct role in university fundraising or in providing advice related to fundraising. You said not in many years.
On March 20, 2019, you sent an email to various colleagues called “Strategic follow-up action items UBC-China” in which one of the items is the presidential advisory council on China. About this advisory council, you said that Jack Austin, one of the co-chairs of the China council, remained very excited about this process and thought that it held the key to a higher quality relation of UBC with China, but also to fundraising related to China.
The minutes from the September 12, 2018, meeting of the China council say, “Community engagement and PACC: to complete the President's Advisory Council on China...to incorporate top...societal leaders (and future fundraisers), as this could have tremendous impact in terms of the university's reputation, networks, and fundraising.”
I asked if decisions about awarding honorary degrees were discussed at the council. You said no, but according to the agenda for January 18, 2019, UBC awarded an honorary degree to Kevin Rudd, former prime minister of Australia.
I asked if CSIS had issued warnings about the risks of collaboration with Huawei. You said, not that you were aware of, but on January 22 of last year Paul Evans wrote to you and said, “CSIS has issued warnings already about the risks of research and other collaboration with Huawei in particular.”
Mr. Chair, I'd like to, in light of this, give notice of the following motion:
That the Committee undertake a study of no fewer than four meetings into the relationship between Canadian Universities and Chinese government-controlled entities, and that as part of that study the committee hear from the Co-Chairs of the UBC China Council, and that the Committee report its findings to the House.
This is a notice of motion. I'm not moving the motion, just providing the verbal notice of motion.