Jennifer Strachan, a chief superintendent with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said that Canadian citizen Qing Quentin Huang, 53, faced two charges of attempting to communicate with a foreign entity.
"In these types of cases, sharing of information may give a foreign entity a tactical, military or competitive advantage by knowing the specifications of vessels responsible for defending Canadian waters and Canadian sovereignty."
Strachan said Huang, who was arrested on Saturday, had worked for a subcontractor involved in ship design. She declined to say what information Huang had tried to provide to China, but said there was no threat to public safety.
The new ships will play an important role as Canada asserts sovereignty claims in the Arctic, a disputed region that is rich in energy and mineral resources.