*First responders…*Health care workers deliving acute, long term, and home care…as well as public health, services…*And, Household contacts…of infants younger than six months, and individuals with compromised immune systems.Locally, another clinic for these priority groups is scheduled for tomorrow, from 10am to 7pm at the Pomeroy Hotel ballroom.Advertisement Northern Health has confirmed that as of today H1/N1 vaccination eligibility in the local authority has been expanded to include people in all age groups with chronic health conditions.In addition, all children from 6 months to 18 years are now considered, to be in the eligiblity category.This is in addition to:- Advertisement -*Pregnant women…*Persons who live in remote and isolated communties or settings…*First Nation’s reserve residents…Advertisement
11 August 2011 India says it expects to reach a preferential trading deal with the Southern African Customs Union by the end of the year as it seeks to expand its economic footprint on the African continent.India’s trade minister also said New Delhi will be pursuing trade deals with other African nations as the country seeks to catch up with China, which has outpaced it in trade and investment on the continent over the past decade.“India is keen to partner with countries in Africa not only for buying minerals but also for providing technology for mining and exploration,” trade minister Anand Sharma said in a speech in the Indian capital on Tuesday.India and China have turned to Africa in their search for energy resources to power their fast-paced economies, but while China prefers government-to-government deals, Indian investment is mainly in the private sector, notably in telecom, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing.“We are engaged in a dialogue with the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) for concluding a preferential trading agreement, and I am confident we shall be able to do so by December,” Sharma said.The SACU, made up of South Africa and its four smaller neighbours Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and Lesotho, is the world’s oldest customs agreement.New Delhi is also going to start exploratory talks with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) and the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) on the potential for free trade pacts, Sharma added.Annual trade between India and Africa increased 15-fold within a decade to US$46-billion in 2010 from $3-billion in 2000.“The government is determined to achieve a target of $70-billion in trade well before 2014,” Sharma said.New Delhi was also committed to working “with our partners in Africa for addressing the infrastructure deficit” on the continent, Sharma added.Sharma’s speech came after Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh attended a trade summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in May and offered a raft of measures, including $5-billion in credit lines, to boost India’s presence on the continent.Sapa
30 October 2012 South Africans are becoming increasingly better educated, according to the country’s latest census, with the proportion of children at school showing a marked increase, as well as the percentage of people who have completed their secondary schooling. Statistics South Africa released the results of census 2011, the country’s third population count since democratic elections were first held in 1994, in Pretoria on Tuesday. The previous censuses took place in 2001 and 1996. There has been a general increase in the percentage of South Africans from the ages of five up to 15 attending school, the census 2011 results show. Enrolment for the five-year-old age group increased from 22.5% in 1996 to 45.6% in 2001 to 81.2% in 2011. For the six-year-old age group, these figures were at 49.1% in 1996, 70.3% in 2001 and 92.7% in 2011, while for the seven-year-old group they were at 73.1% in 1996, 88.4% in 2001 and 96.1% in 2011. “The vast majority of students in South Africa attend public educational institutions. Only 5% of those aged 5 to 24 years, who were attending educational institutions in 2001, attended private institutions as opposed to the 7.3% in 2011,” the census report states.Increase in private school attendance There was a general increase in private school attendance across all the provinces, with the highest in Gauteng at 16.7%, followed by the Western Cape at 7.5% and the Free State at 6.4%. All other provinces had private institution attendance rates of less than 5%. An increase in black Africans aged between 5 and 24 years attending educational institutions was also recorded. Figures for this population group increased steadily from 70.7% in 1996 to 72.1% in 2001, to 73.9% in 2011. Attendance rates among coloured, Indian/Asian and white population groups also increased. The results also showed that the proportion of individuals aged 20 who have no schooling, halved from 19.1% in 1996 to 8.6% in 2011. “There is a significant decrease in persons with no schooling over the 10 years,” the report states. In addition, the percentage of South Africans aged 20 years and older that have received no formal education has decreased steadily between 1996 and 2011. In 1996, 17% of males in this age group had no formal education. This decreased to 15.5% in 2001 and further to 7.2% in 2011. Among females, the percentage with no formal education declined from 20.9% in 1996, to 20% in 2001 and 9.9% in 2011. A notable improvement was also recorded in the number of people who had completed their education. “The proportion of persons who completed secondary education (matric) or higher increased from 23.4% in 1996 to 40.5% in 2011,” the report states. Source: SANews.gov.za
Diverse mining operations – platinum, diamonds, coal, chrome, copper – contribute more than a quarter of Limpopo’s provincial gross domestic product. The area is also a major electricity generator.Agroprocessing is a growing industry in Limpopo, thanks to the province’s long-established farming sector. (Image: Brand South Africa)John YoungLimpopo is strategically located near to the economic heartland of South Africa (Johannesburg is 300km from Polokwane), and on the N1 highway connecting South Africa to its neighbours in the Southern African Development Community to the north through Zimbabwe.Limpopo province overviewGallery: Limpopo provinceLimpopo provincial governmentLimpopo Economic Development AgencyPolokwane, the provincial capital, has an international airport and there are a further two regional airports at Hoedspruit and Phalaborwa. The rail network is mostly devoted to getting the products of the province’s many mines to the coast.Limpopo province’s landmass of 125 755km accounts for 10.3% of South Africa, and the provincial population of 5.5 million represents 10.4% of the national population.As a largely rural province, Limpopo’s contribution to national gross domestic product (GDP) is a respectable 7.2% but, as the National Development Agency wrote in 2009, “much more still needs to be done to improve the quality of life” for many of the poor people living in the province. This remains true today.Good news for the province came from the public entity, Trade and Investment Limpopo (TIL). As of January 2012, TIL reported tracked investment into the province of R7.8-billion, including:R1.2-billion in foreign direct investmentR1.5-billion in local investmentR200-million in expansionsR4.8-billion in capital expenditure by governmentA further R1-billion of investment was retained in the province because TIL intervened to resolve issues relating to water and power services.Companies already successfully established in Limpopo include Samancor (silicon smelting), Eskom (electricity generation), Granor Passi (fruit juices), Bonanza (furniture making), Kanhym (meat processing) and ArcelorMittal (steel).Trade and Investment Limpopo: www.til.co.zaManufacturingManufacturing in the province is centred on mining areas (smelters and refineries), agricultural estates (juices and concentrates) and Polokwane (which has a strong suit in food and beverages). Coal and platinum mining are the two components of the prominent mining sector that have the greatest potential for growth.MiningMining contributes 27% to provincial gross domestic product (GDP).Within Limpopo, approximately 400 prospecting and mining licences have been granted across a wide range of minerals. These include the largest diamond mine in South Africa, the biggest copper mine in South Africa, the biggest open-pit platinum mine in the country and the biggest vermiculite mine in the world.The province has 41% of South Africa’s platinum group metals (PGMs), 90% of South Africa’s red-granite resources and approximately 50% of the country’s coal reserves. Antimony, a highly strategic mineral found in large quantities in China, is another of Limpopo’s major assets.Major projectsTwo of the largest engineering projects in the history of South Africa are nearing completion in Limpopo, and have the potential to boost the region’s economy enormously. The power station at Medupi will add 4 764 megawatts to the national grid and has already given the local economy of Lephalale a massive boost.The huge De Hoop Dam, which forms part of the Olifants River Water Resources Development Project (ORWRDP), is vital to the province’s future. Access to water is one of the key elements in any discussion of economic growth in Limpopo Province, especially as the mining and agricultural sectors are so important. In terms of the ORWRDP, some 23 platinum mines stand to benefit.AgricultureIn agricultural terms, Limpopo is very rich. Vast quantities of fruit and vegetables are exported from the province. Almost every kind of subtropical fruit flourishes in the eastern half of the province.Abundant fields of avocados, mangos, paw-paws, litchis and tomatoes stretch as far as the eye can see. Cotton and potatoes are other major products, while citrus and tea plantations are prevalent in the central and northern areas.Livestock raising and hunting are carried out in the drier western and northern regions. Several livestock farms have been converted to private game farms in recent years, mirroring a national trend.RegionsLimpopo has five district municipalities:Capricorn DistrictCapricorn is the economic centre of Limpopo, with the provincial capital Polokwane contributing 13% of the provincial GDP. Polokwane has a number of manufacturing concerns. The Zebediela Citrus Estate is one of the biggest citrus estates in South Africa, and the cultivation of potatoes and tomatoes is done on a large scale in the district.Greater Sekhukhune DistrictGovernment is the largest employer in this southern district, followed by agriculture and hunting. The vast majority of households are rural (94%), with a poverty rate of 69.9%. Groblersdal is the district capital.The region’s fertile lands produce maize, tobacco, peanuts, vegetables, sunflower seeds and cotton on a large scale. Agriculture makes up 25% of the local economy, with the value of the region’s gross production estimated at R250-million. Burgersfort is an important town because of platinum mining.Mopani DistrictGiyani is the administrative capital of the district and is key to the local economy. The public sector is one of the largest employers in the district. The key sectors are agriculture and mining.Mopani has an established food manufacturing industry, in canned, preserved and dried-fruit production and vegetable juices. Phalaborwa is the gateway to the Kruger National Park. It has a good airport and is a tourism hub. Palaborwa Mining Company (Palamin) is the major economic driving force in the area.State-owned phosphate and phosphoric acid producer Foskor is another major employer. Sasol Nitro Phalaborwa produces phosphoric acid and deflourinated acid. The Marula Festival is held in Phalaborwa in February every year.A subtropical climate and fertile soils combine to make greater Tzaneen very productive in terms of fruit and vegetables. Limpopo’s second most populous city has a population of 80 000.The Letaba Valley produces a large proportion of South Africa’s mangos, avocados and tomatoes. Forty sawmills operate in the area, drawing on the heavily forested hills around the city.One of the major road links between Gauteng and the Kruger National Park also passes through the area, providing excellent links for tourism and business.Vhembe DistrictThe Vhembe District borders on both Zimbabwe and Botswana. The district’s administrative capital is Thohoyandou. Vhembe’s vast bushveld supports commercial and game farming and the district has considerable cultural and historical assets.The major economic sector is agriculture, both in terms of commercial and subsistence farming. Game farming is a growing subsector, as is eco-tourism.De Beers’ Venetia Mine, situated just west of Musina, is South Africa’s largest diamond producer. Situated in the north-east of the province, fairly close to the Punda Maria Gate of the Kruger National Park, Thohoyandou is the administrative centre of Thulamela Local Municipality, Vhembe District Municipality and the University of Venda.The Tshivhase tea estates are not far from the town and a new project is cultivating exotic trees and ornamental shrubs.The town is on the Ivory Route and hosts the Venda Cultural Museum. Other attractions include an ancient baobab tree, the Dzata Ruins, the Museum of the Drum, the mystical Lake Fundudzi and Nwanedi Provincial Park.Waterberg DistrictThe mining sector is the largest contributor to regional GDP, while agriculture is also significant. Several towns in the district are located in the mineral-rich Bushveld Igneous Complex.The district also features the riches of the Waterberg Coal Fields, iron ore (at Thabazimbi) and tin and platinum at Mookgophong. The town of Lephalale is at the heart of the region’s coal-mining and power-generation sectors.The area around Mokopane is one of the richest agricultural zones in South Africa, producing wheat, tobacco, cotton, beef, maize and peanuts.The bubbling hot springs of Bela-Bela mark it as a popular tourism destination, and the district offers many luxury golf estates.Limpopo Tourism: www.golimpopo.comKruger National Park: www.sanparks.orgThis is an edited version of an article published by Frontier Market Network. Republished here with kind permission. Copyright © Frontier Market Intelligence Ltd. All rights reservedReviewed September 2013
Teachers across South Africa are turning away from the traditional blackboard and are plugging into technology in their attempts to become better educators. Along the way, they have found that learning is more fun, and that children are keener to get to grips with their education. Top teachers use technology in classrooms to enhance learning. (Image: Mediaclubsouthafrica.com)• Teachers are ‘our nation’s pride’• South Africa turns on digital classrooms • Wits to offer free online courses for Africans • SKA will drive growth of Africa’s human capital • Join the 2015 South African Competitiveness Forum Melissa JavanAlthough she struggled to use her own cellphone, a Limpopo teacher said, she still used iPads to teach her class rather than the traditional blackboard.Malale Reshoketswe Leshilo, a teacher at Selale Primary School, was speaking at the 15th annual National Teaching Awards (NTA), hosted by the Department of Basic Education and held at Gallagher Estate in Johannesburg on 7 March.Leshilo was nominated for the NTAs. Speaking to news agency eNCA on the sidelines of the awards, she said that she was one of those teachers who valued technology when it came to motivating her Grade 3 pupils. Enrolment at her school had skyrocketed since it had started to use iPads in the classroom.“You can look at me now. I’m 43 this year. I still struggle in using a mere cellphone,” she said. “Yet I’m teaching learners through technology. It will make their learning even faster. They are also having fun! And they start to get these technological skills at a very young age.”Morne Smit, a teacher at Hoër Volkskool in North West, won the award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics (further education and training). He also uses technology to get his message across to his pupils, who were particularly keen on videos. “When they go online, use their username and password, they have a timeline of mathematical content.”PrizesWinners at this event recieved gifts like Blackberry cellphones, Samsung tablets and Chevrolet Spark cars. Some hot cars to be awarded tonight. National Teaching Awards #nta15 pic.twitter.com/PD8QrEbgvI— Chuma Kave (@chumakave) March 7, 2015CategoriesThere are NTAs in 17 categories, including Excellence in Primary School Teaching, Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Prof Kader Asmal Excellence Award. In handing out the awards, the department says it “wishes to salute all schools and teachers who have entered the National Teaching Awards since 2000. It acknowledges their extraordinary efforts, which have been achieved often under very difficult conditions and in service to our children, many of whom come from poor communities.”The Prof Kader Asmal Excellence Award seeks to recognise teachers who demonstrate the key values that were a hallmark of Asmal’s leadership; like its namesake, the winner must be a demanding educational activist who leads by example. It was won by Thembisile Mavis Mdlalose of Thembimfundo Special School in KwaZulu-Natal.Ganasen Reddy of Glenhaven Secondary School in KwaZulu-Natal received the Lifetime Achievement Award, with Albert Dill of Transorania School for the Deaf in Gauteng second placed, followed by Leepile Ishmael Mompati of Albert Morkoka Secondary School in Free State.Keynote SpeakerIn his keynote address at the awards ceremony, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said the winning teachers were shining examples of teaching excellence, which all teachers should strive to emulate.Without incredible teachers, he added, he would not be the man he was today. We would not have had the calibre of great people that we have had, such as Nelson Mandela, and we would not have developed as a country like we had over the last 20 years if it was not for the hard work and dedication of our teachers.RecognitionThe UN marks World Teacher Day on October 5; it is one of many ways teachers and their profession are honoured. South Africa hosts a number of events to acknowledge and encourage dedicated and caring teachers in their efforts to develop each pupil. The NTAs are just one of those ways. Their objectives are to:Focus public attention on the positive aspects of education, thereby raising the public image of the teaching profession;Recognise and promote excellence in teaching performance;Honour dedicated, creative and effective teachers and schools;Encourage best practice in schools; and,Afford South Africans the opportunity to publicly say thank you to outstanding teams or individual teachers in schools.MotivationBuzzfeed, the social interaction and news portal, recently asked teachers to list on Instagram what makes their day. They listed:That “oooooh” look on a student’s face when they finally get a concept.The knowledge that I’m playing a little part in shaping a (hopefully) better future.Seeing a child blossom right before your eyes.When the worst student in class finally has a break and behaves well for the whole day.All the ridiculous things my kids say.The priceless stories I get to share with my friends.When a student identifies your class as a place they feel safe. That might mean it’s a place where they can escape tumultuous home lives or is place where they aren’t afraid to take risks, but either way it is a great feeling.Seeing the kids helping one another, both academically and socially, is so gratifying.Seeing a kid smile because you made them feel special.That moment when a wonderful idea comes to your mind and you expand on a topic with great discussions and they can’t wait to learn more.The NTA categories are:Excellence in Primary School TeachingExcellence in Secondary School TeachingExcellence in Primary School LeadershipExcellence in Secondary School LeadershipExcellence in Grade R TeachingExcellence in Special Needs and Inclusive TeachingExcellence in Technology-Enhanced Teaching and LearningExcellence in Teaching Mathematics (FET)Excellence in Teaching Physical Science (FET)Prof Kader Asmal Excellence AwardLifetime Achievement AwardKha Ri Gude Mass Literacy Volunteer EducatorKha Ri Gude Mass Literacy Volunteer SupervisorKha Ri Gude Mass Literacy Volunteer CoordinatorKha Ri Gude Inclusive Education Volunteer EducatorKha Ri Gude Inclusive Education Volunteer SupervisorKha Ri Gude Inclusive Education Volunteer Coordinator
OTTAWA – Approval of a ski resort in a region held sacred by Indigenous people does not violate their constitutional right to freedom of religion, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Thursday.A senior Indigenous leader said the decision demonstrates a lack of knowledge.“That’s sacred ceremonial grounds. That’s where our relatives, the grizzly bear, live. And if their habitat is somehow destroyed, you are destroying our relatives,” Perry Bellegarde, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said in Ottawa.“To me, it is a bit of a lack of awareness and understanding through the Supreme Court about that world view.”The high court decision means the proposed resort development near Invermere in southeastern British Columbia could be a step closer to reality, although the judgment suggests there might be other avenues for the Ktunaxa Nation to appeal or try to derail it.The decision stems from a lawsuit filed by the Ktunaxa after developer Jumbo Glacier Resorts received B.C. government approval to proceed.The Ktunaxa consider the land at the foot of Jumbo Mountain to be sacred and says construction of a resort would drive away Grizzly Bear Spirit, a principal figure in their religion.They had argued that charter protection for freedom of religion must include not only spiritual beliefs, but also underlying sacred sites — in this case an area known as Qat’muk.The Supreme Court ruled that religious protections under the charter do not extend that far and only cover freedom to hold such beliefs and the right to manifest them through worship and teaching.“In short, the charter protects the freedom to worship, but does not protect the spiritual focal point of worship,” a majority of the court ruled.The court said the charter protects the freedom to pursue religious practices, like the wearing of the kirpan, a ceremonial knife, by Sikhs.“In this case, however, the appellants are not seeking protection for the freedom to believe in Grizzly Bear Spirit or to pursue practices related to it,” the court says. “Rather, they seek to protect Grizzly Bear Spirit itself and the subjective spiritual meaning they derive from it.”It says extending the charter as proposed by the Ktunaxa “would put deeply held personal beliefs under judicial scrutiny. Adjudicating how exactly a spirit is to be protected would require the state and its courts to assess the content and merits of religious beliefs.”Bellegarde said the ruling fails to grasp how Indigenous people are connected to the land through spirituality and ceremonies.“More works needs to be done about educating the judicial branch about inherent rights, Aboriginal rights, treaty rights,” he said.Vancouver lawyer Gregory Tucker, who represents the developer, said his client has waited a long time for the decision.“The Supreme Court of Canada has been instrumental over many years in bringing forward the process of reconciliation and giving First Nations a real voice in projects to be developed on their traditional territories and in this case, I think, it strikes the right balance,” he said.The high court also concluded that the B.C. minister of forests, lands and natural resource operations “did not act unreasonably” in concluding the constitutional obligation to consult the Ktunaxa about their concerns had been met.“We arrive at these conclusions cognizant of the importance of protecting Indigenous religious beliefs and practices, and the place of such protection in achieving reconciliation between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous communities.”The mayor of the Jumbo Resort Municipality, Greg Deck, said he watched the negotiations unfold and believes the developer acted in good faith.“My perception as I watched them do their consultation is that it was genuine, that they weren’t just doing it because it was required,” Deck said in an interview from Seattle.He hopes the Ktunaxa will be willing to rejoin design of the resort.The company has been negotiating for more than two decades with the provincial government and interested parties, including the Ktunaxa and Shuswap peoples, who live in the Jumbo Valley within the Purcell range.Limited construction began after the B.C. government amended regulations in 2012 to create a municipality — complete with a mayor and two councillors — although the region still has limited infrastructure and no permanent residents.Work stopped in 2015 when the province ruled Jumbo Glacier had violated the terms of its environmental assessment certificate.Tucker said Jumbo Glacier has requested a judicial review of the decision. A resolution would be the next step in the plan to build the year-round ski resort.
JASPER, Alta. – Smoke from wildfires that’s blanketing parts of Alberta does more than just irritate the eyes and throats of visitors to the province’s mountain parks — it obscures the spectacular scenery that many have travelled thousands of kilometres to see.“I did have a couple the other day that were quite disappointed. They were looking at the photographs on the wall and kind of complained, ‘We can’t see any of this stuff,’” said Jeremy Salisbury at Tekarra Color Lab, which sells cameras supplies, photos and art in Jasper.His co-worker Matt Quiring, who also works part time at the Jasper Planetarium, said the smoke has made photographing the night sky particularly challenging.Jasper is designated a dark sky preserve due to its limited light pollution and the planetarium typically has telescopes set up on summer nights. But the universe is obscured by thick haze these days.“Even those stars that are visible, the smoke lowers the contrast so you don’t get black, black skies,” Quiring lamented.The thick smoke from hundreds of wildfires that continue to burn through British Columbia’s forests and brush is also creating air-quality problems for much of Alberta, Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba as winds drive it eastward from B.C.In Calgary and Edmonton, the tops of downtown highrises get fuzzier the higher up you look.Quiring said mountains in Jasper that are usually beautifully detailed with trees on the ridgelines have turned into silhouettes.Further south in Banff, a live webcam from the summit of Sulphur Mountain — accessible by gondola — shows mostly grey.Tanya Otis, a spokeswoman for the company that operates the gondola, said people are still going up but visibility varies depending on wind direction.“It really depends on the time of day for what they can see,” Otis said.Mike Gere, who operates Jasper Photography Tours, said tourists are still booking. They understand the poor visibility isn’t anyone’s fault, but it’s still disappointing for them, he said.Gere said the Perseids meteor shower, which peaked last weekend and coincided with a new moon, was a bit of a bust for the second year in a row due to smoke.“Some days we can’t even see the mountains that everyone has travelled from all over the country and all over the world to see.”It isn’t all bad for shutterbugs, however.Salisbury said photographers can still get good close-up shots at attractions such as Athabasca Falls. And Quiring pointed out there are opportunities for shots he wouldn’t otherwise get.Last year, when smoke was also bad, Quiring posted a sunset pic to Instagram that was “other worldly.”“The mountains were just barely visible in silhouette. The sun was like a rosy globe going down and the whole sky was awash in a peachy colour … draped over the landscape. It was quite beautiful,” he said. “I very much enjoyed that moment.”The smoke allows photographers to get shots they would normally only get if it were foggy or misty, Gere added.“You get ridges of trees that are stacked up on one another in the distance. You kind of get a graduated effect where the trees that are closer to you look like black in one corner of the photo and it keeps stepping up and up and up until they’re white in the distance.“It gives it a unique layered effect.”It was surreal last week when smoke rolled in at Maligne Lake, he said.“Everything looked really, really orange. It was like a perpetual sunset.”He wishes the smoke would go away, but realizes it could be a lot worse.“Hey, at least we’re not on fire. I think of the people in British Columbia who are suffering more than we are.”— By Rob Drinkwater in Edmonton.
OTTAWA — Canadian companies should watch out when they use technology supplied by state-owned companies from countries that want to steal corporate secrets, the country’s security agencies have warned them.The RCMP organized two workshops last March — one in Calgary, the other in Toronto — to raise awareness about threats to critical systems, including espionage and foreign interference, cyberattacks, terrorism and sabotage, newly disclosed documents show.Canadian Security Intelligence Service materials prepared for the workshops advise that “non-likeminded countries,” state-owned enterprises and affiliated companies are engaged in a global pursuit of technology and know-how driven by economic and military ambitions.The materials were released to The Canadian Press in response to an access-to-information request.The heavily censored records do not go into detail about specific countries. But the presentation does include a passage from a 2017 U.S. government report saying competitors such as China steal American intellectual property valued at hundreds of billions of dollars every year.In addition, CSIS openly warned in 2016 that Russia and China were targeting Canada’s classified information and advanced technology, as well as government officials and systems.The presentations to industry dissected techniques used by adversaries and offered advice on protecting confidential information and assets. The intelligence community’s concerns emerge as Canada considers allowing Chinese firm Huawei Technologies to take part in developing a 5G telecommunications network.Former security officials in Canada and two members of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence have warned against such a move, saying the company’s ties to Beijing could compromise the security of Canada and its closest allies. Huawei has denied engaging in intelligence work on behalf of any government.The workshops led by the RCMP’s critical infrastructure team highlighted the problem of “supply chain vulnerability” — a back-door tactic to infiltrate systems.The RCMP did not respond to questions about the sessions. CSIS spokesman John Townsend said the concerns stem from cases where equipment and related computerized control systems and services are manufactured and installed by companies controlled by or affiliated with a foreign government.“These foreign governments may pursue not only profitable commercial objectives but may also try to advance their own broader and potentially adverse strategic and economic interests,” he said.The tactics could include gaining influence and leverage over the host country, espionage, technology theft and malicious cyberactivities, Townsend added.The security presentations also warned of “spear-phishing” attempts by hostile forces to gain access to computer systems through emails that fool employees into giving up passwords or other sensitive data.The agencies encouraged companies working on leading-edge research to take stock of protective measures and develop a corporate security plan to manage risks. For instance, scientists should consult corporate security about precautions when outside delegations visit.“If you detect suspicious activity, contact authorities,” the presentation materials say. “All infrastructure sectors should remain engaged with RCMP and CSIS to share security intelligence.” Patrick Smyth, vice-president of performance at the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, said security is “top of mind” for member companies, which share information and help each other ensure they are prepared for emerging hazards and threats.Cyberattacks are an evolving threat, but not a new one for pipeline operators, he said in an interview.“They’ve been looking at it for a number of years and tracking the evolution around the sophistication of bad actors who might wish to find entry points into individual companies, and take over control of certain elements of the infrastructure and cause damage,” he said.If a state-owned enterprise is looking to acquire an asset, “these companies have programs, checks and balances in place to address that.”Pipeline operators receive intelligence from the RCMP, CSIS, the federal natural-resources and public-safety departments and U.S. agencies, Smyth added. However, he sees a place for the awareness workshops, saying any “additional source of information and intelligence is helpful.”— Follow @JimBronskill on TwitterJim Bronskill , The Canadian Press