Action Plan for Critical Infrastructure (2014-2017)

PDF (195 KB)

Cat. No.: PS4-66/2014E-PDF
ISBN: 978-1-100-23291-1

Table of Contents

* The Action Plan is to be read in conjunction with the National Strategy for Critical Infrastructure.

Renewing Canada's Action Plan for Critical Infrastructure

1. Introduction

The National Strategy for Critical Infrastructure and the supporting Action Plan for Critical Infrastructure were announced on May 28, 2010. Together, they established a collaborative federal, provincial, territorial and critical infrastructure sector approach to strengthening critical infrastructure resilience.

The National Strategy recognized that responsibilities for critical infrastructure in Canada are shared by federal, provincial and territorial governments, local authorities, and critical infrastructure owners and operators – who bear the primary responsibility for protecting their assets and services.  It also recognized that critical infrastructure owners and operators have the expertise and information that governments need to develop comprehensive emergency management plans and, in turn, that governments have information on risks and threats relevant to owners and operators in carrying out their risk management activities.

Consistent with the National Strategy, as well as the Emergency Management Framework for Canada, these responsibilities (see Annex A) were further elaborated in the original Action Plan. National-level sector networks were established for each of the ten critical infrastructure sectors, with a lead federal department/agency responsible for each network (see Annex B). In addition, a National Cross Sector Forum was established to promote collaboration across sector networks, address interdependencies, and promote information sharing across sectors (see Annex C).

The National Strategy identified three strategic objectives for enhancing the resilience of critical infrastructure in Canada:

Building on the National Strategy, the original Action Plan set out action items for each of the three strategic objectives. Working together, governments (federal, provincial, territorial) and the private sector have made considerable progress in building partnerships (e.g. establishing sector networks and the National Cross Sector Forum), sharing and protecting information (e.g. creating the Critical Infrastructure Gateway and developing an information sharing framework), and implementing an all-hazards risk management approach (e.g. developing risk management tools and guidance). A summary of progress achieved is available in Annex D.

Recognizing the interconnected nature of critical infrastructure, the Canada-United States Action Plan for Critical Infrastructure (2010) established a coordinated, cross-border approach based on Canada's National Strategy and Action Plan and the United States' National Infrastructure Protection Plan. The Canada-U.S. Action Plan calls for joint sector meetings and collaborative risk management activities. The Canada-U.S. Action Plan also supports regional cross-border relations by promoting awareness of shared critical infrastructure issues, and encouraging cooperation among State, Provincial, and Territorial authorities.

What we have learned and what has changed

The risk environment exhibits both continuity and change. For instance, terrorism is a complex and evolving threat. Released in February 2012, Building Resilience Against Terrorism: Canada's Counter-Terrorism Strategy outlines the Government of Canada's overall approach to protect Canadians and Canadian interest from domestic and international terrorism. The Counter-Terrorism Strategy highlights the importance of cooperation with Canada's international partners, all levels of government, security intelligence and law enforcement agencies, industry stakeholders and civil society. The Government subsequently released the 2013 Public Report on the Terrorist Threat to Canada which provided additional detail on evolving trends in terrorism, with a focus on what they mean for Canadians.

Cyber security has become increasingly relevant for critical infrastructure sectors. Connectivity and the world's dependence on the internet continues to grow – as has the number and significance of cyber incidents. Canada's Cyber Security Strategy, announced in 2010, is the Government of Canada's plan for meeting the cyber threat. The Cyber Security Strategy commits the Government to engage public-private sector partners in a collaborative effort to enhance the security of Canada's cyberspace. The Action Plan 2010-2015 for Canada's Cyber Security Strategy outlines the Government's plan to implement the Strategy and meet the ultimate goal of securing our cyberspace for the benefit of Canadians and our economy. It identifies actions to help secure vital cyber systems outside the Government of Canada, including for Canada's critical infrastructure sectors. These cyber-specific activities reinforce Canada's overall approach to critical infrastructure resilience.

The effects of climate change are better understood. The rate and severity of extreme weather events is expected to increase in the future. The trend of urbanization, and the growth of large cities, means that a natural disaster confined to a small area can have devastating consequences on large numbers of people and cascading effects across critical infrastructure sectors.

Globalization – as viewed through the lens of the production and trade of goods and services – has further contributed to our awareness of the role that interdependencies can play. For example, the 2011 flooding in Thailand disrupted a number of important electronics manufacturers, affecting the computer and automotive industries in particular, through their global supply chains.

At the same time, risks from purely natural hazards, such as earthquakes, persist and do not exhibit a long-term trend either upwards or downwards. As the earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand in 2011 show, losses can vary greatly in any given year. Awareness of the significance of these high-impact, low-frequency (including “black swan”) events has increased. Individual events of this type are deemed improbable, yet have enormous consequences when they occur – as illustrated by earthquakes and flooding in 2011.

The National Strategy for Critical Infrastructure continues to provide the overarching vision for enhancing the resilience of Canada's critical infrastructure. Each of the strategic objectives of the National Strategycontribute to helping Canada better prepare and respond to these threats and hazards:

2. A Renewed Action Plan (2014-2017)

Improving the resilience of Canada's critical infrastructure will always be a work in progress. It will never be possible to protect against every threat or hazard and mitigate against every consequence; it is also important to improve the ability to respond to and recover from incidents when they occur.

The next phase of the Action Plan involves taking additional steps for each of the three strategic objectives outlined in the National Strategy, building on what has already been achieved under the original Action Plan and what the critical infrastructure community has learned since then. A table summarizing all of the action items can be found in Annex E. Taken together, the action items put forth in this renewed Action Plan will strengthen Canada's critical infrastructure resilience by helping to prevent, mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from disruptions.

2.1 Sustain and Enhance Partnerships

Strengthening the resilience of critical infrastructure requires complementary and coherent action by all partners to promote effectiveness of action in a resource-efficient manner. The foundation for collaborative work and information sharing was established under the original Action Plan. The renewed Action Plan will build on these efforts by deepening existing partnerships and raising awareness of the need for collaborative action on critical infrastructure resilience. Key actions for this strategic objective are to:

Timeline: Year 1 and ongoing.

Timeline: Year 1.

Timeline: Ongoing.

Timeline: Year 2 and ongoing.

2.2 Share and Protect Information

Information sharing and information protection are complementary elements of a strong foundation for collaborative efforts to strengthen critical infrastructure resilience. Timely information sharing across governments and critical infrastructure sectors is needed to promote effective risk management and to understand and address critical infrastructure interdependencies. At the same time, the inappropriate release of sensitive information also constitutes a risk for Canada. The sharing and disclosure of protected/classified information is governed by a range of existing federal, provincial and territorial legislation and policies.

Several information sharing arrangements were developed under the original Action Plan. The renewed Action Plan will build on these achievements by further expanding information sharing opportunities through various means, including formal agreements, virtual and physical mechanisms, and the creation and dissemination of information products. Key actions for this strategic objective are to:

Timeline: Year 1 and ongoing.

Timeline: Year 1 and ongoing.

Timeline: Year 2.

Timeline: Year 2 and ongoing.

2.3 Implement an All-Hazards Risk Management Approach

The original Action Plan set the foundation for a collaborative approach to risk management that takes into account accidental, intentional, and natural hazards. The renewed Action Plan will build on these achievements through various means, including: undertaking a broader range of assessments, developing risk profiles, promoting the use of appropriate standards, measuring progress toward resilience, and continuing to conduct exercises. Achieving this strategic objective will also provide greater clarity to critical infrastructure stakeholders about the identification of critical assets and systems and enable greater prioritization of activities and resources. Key actions for this strategic objective are to:

Timeline: Year 1 and ongoing.

Timeline: Year 1 and ongoing.

Timeline: Year 1 and ongoing.

Timeline: Year 1 and ongoing.

Timeline: Year 1 and ongoing.

Timeline: Year 2 and ongoing.

Timeline: Year 2.

Timeline: Year 2 and ongoing.

3. Strengthening Critical Infrastructure Resilience Efforts Across Canada

The National Strategy for Critical Infrastructure continues to define the overall approach to enhancing critical infrastructure resilience in Canada and support the coherence of government (federal, provincial, territorial) and private sector plans and activities. Among other partnership activities, coherence of activity across critical infrastructure sectors and federal/provincial/territorial governments is achieved through the National Cross Sector Forum and the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Critical Infrastructure (FPT CI) Working Group:

Annex A: Roles and Responsibilities
Actor Role Responsibilities

Federal government

Lead federal activities

  • Advance a collaborative federal, provincial and territorial approach to strengthening the resiliency of critical infrastructure
  • Collaborate with provincial and territorial governments to achieve the objectives of the Strategy
  • Collaborate with national associations
  • Collaborate with critical infrastructure owners and operators within federal mandate in consultation with provinces and territories

Provincial/ territorial governments

Lead provincial/ territorial activities

  • Advance a collaborative federal, provincial and territorial approach to strengthening the resiliency of critical infrastructure
  • Collaborate with federal, provincial and territorial governments to achieve the objectives of the Strategy
  • Coordinate activities with their stakeholders, including municipalities or local governments where it applies, associations and critical infrastructure owners and operators

Critical infrastructure owners/operators

Collaboratively manage risks related to their critical infrastructure

  • Manage risks to their own critical infrastructure
  • Participate in critical infrastructure identification, assessment, prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery activities
Source: Action Plan for Critical Infrastructure (2010)
Annex B: Sector Networks and Federal Departments/Agencies
Sector Sector-specific federal department/agency

Energy and utilities

Natural Resources Canada

Information and communication technology

Industry Canada

Finance

Finance Canada

Health

Public Health Agency of Canada

Food

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Water

Environment Canada

Transportation

Transport Canada

Safety

Public Safety Canada

Government

Public Safety Canada

Manufacturing

Industry Canada
Department of National Defence

Source: Action Plan for Critical Infrastructure (2010)

Annex C: Sector Networks and the National Cross Sector Forum

Structure of the National Cross Sector Forum
Image Description

This graphic illustrates the structure of the National Cross Sector Forum. Membership includes private sector and government (federal, provincial and territorial) representatives from each of the 10 critical infrastructure sectors, which are: Energy and Utilities, Information and Communication Technology, Water, Food, Manufacturing, Safety, Transportation, Finance, Health, and Government.

Source: National Strategy for Critical Infrastructure (2010)

Annex D: Achievements under Phase One of the Action Plan for Critical Infrastructure (2010-2013)
Strategic Objective Action Item Year Status

Build Partnerships

Establish sector networks

1

Completed

Establish National Cross Sector Forum

1

Completed

Renew FPT CI Working Group

1

Completed

Share and Protect Information

Establish an information sharing framework

2

Completed

Develop statement of requirements for the information sharing portal

1

Completed

Establish the Public Layer of the information sharing portal

2

Completed

Develop and test secure, web-based user authentication

2

Completed

Implement the Secure Layer of the information sharing portal

2

Completed

Enhance information dissemination

Ongoing

Ongoing

Populate Public and Secure Layers of the information sharing portal

Ongoing

Ongoing

Implement an All-Hazards Risk Management Approach

Develop risk assessments of CI in Canada

2 and ongoing

Ongoing

Develop and share sector-specific work plans

3 and ongoing

In progress

Conduct national exercises

Ongoing

Ongoing

Annex E: Action Plan (2014-2017) Summary Table
Strategic Objective Action Item Year to Achieve

Sustain and Enhance Partnerships

Develop a call to action for critical infrastructure resilience

1 and ongoing

Provide guidance to ensure appropriate representation on sector networks

1

Address cross-sector issues through multi-sector meetings

Ongoing

Strengthen public communications and awareness

2 and ongoing

Share and Protect Information

Expand stakeholder membership and participation on the Canadian Critical Infrastructure Gateway and leverage the CI Gateway's capabilities to improve information sharing and collaboration on specific projects

1 and ongoing

Sponsor security clearances among private sector stakeholders in order to enable increased sharing of sensitive information

1 and ongoing

Expand information sharing and investigate rationalization of existing information sharing arrangements

2

Provide impact assessments during unfolding events of national significance

2 and ongoing

Implement an All-Hazards Risk Management Approach

Implement the Regional Resilience Assessment Program (RRAP) across Canada

1 and ongoing

Provide an overall description of key risks for critical infrastructure, including dependencies and emerging trends

1 and ongoing

Assess impacts of potential high impact / low frequency events on critical infrastructure sectors to increase awareness and understanding of risks to critical infrastructure

1 and ongoing

Promote the adoption of existing standards and determine whether additional standards are needed to improve critical infrastructure resilience

1 and ongoing

Conduct exercises to strengthen readiness and response efforts

1 and ongoing

Develop targeted risk assessment products in response to emerging critical infrastructure issues

2 and ongoing

Finalize national application of an interdependencies model

2

Measure progress toward resilience to demonstrate results and monitor progress

2 and ongoing

Annex F: Resources

The following websites contain useful information relating to the resilience of Canada's critical infrastructure:

National Strategy for Critical Infrastructure:
/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/srtg-crtcl-nfrstrctr/index-eng.aspx

Public Safety Canada/Critical Infrastructure:
/cnt/ntnl-scrt/crtcl-nfrstrctr/index-eng.aspx

Canadian Critical Infrastructure Gateway (CI Gateway):
http://cigateway.ps.gc.ca

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP):
http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/index-eng.htm

Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS):
http://www.csis-scrs.gc.ca/index-eng.asp

Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre (CCIRC):
/cnt/ntnl-scrt/cbr-scrt/ccirc-ccric-eng.aspx

Canada's Cyber Security Strategy:
/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/cbr-scrt-strtgy/index-eng.aspx

Action Plan 2010-2015 for Canada's Cyber Security Strategy:
/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/ctn-pln-cbr-scrt/index-eng.aspx

Building Resilience Against Terrorism: Canada's Counter-terrorism Strategy:
/cnt/ntnl-scrt/cntr-trrrsm/cntr-trrrsm-strtg-eng.aspx

The Canadian Disaster Database:
/prg/em/cdd/index-eng.aspx

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