- The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the assets, systems, networks, and services essential to the health, safety, security, and economic well-being of Canadians.
- We continuously work to enhance critical infrastructure resilience by identifying threats and hazards, sharing information on these findings with stakeholders, and working with industry partners to prepare for disruptions and incidents to better protect Canada and Canadians.
- A number of key issues and priorities are being identified by the National Cross Sector Forum in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Designation of essential services:
- We are receiving a number of requests to designate companies and their activities as essential. While Public Safety Canada does not have legislative authority to designate infrastructure, goods or services as either essential or critical, we are working with partners, including the Canada Border Services Agency, to ensure the uninterrupted flow of essential goods and services across the border.
- Regulatory relaxation:
- There are ongoing activities and discussion in a number of sectors (e.g., transportation) to ensure that necessary regulatory amendments are implemented to ensure efficient functioning of key supply chains.
- Food supply chain:
- There are concerns related to processors, the transportation of goods, and retail support (e.g., restocking shelves), due to potential shortages of sanitizing products, and potential increases in absenteeism rates. Solutions are being discussed with our partners in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada as well as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, among others.
- Sanitization supplies and protective equipment:
- There are concerns about potential shortages of sanitizer equipment and Personal Protective Equipment for critical infrastructure owners and operators. We continue to monitor these concerns and will provide the support needed so that our critical infrastructure workers can safely do their jobs.
- In support of our ongoing response efforts, the Government of Canada is mobilizing Canadian businesses and manufacturers to help fight the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of all Canadians.
- The Plan to Mobilize Industry will create pathways to deploy resources to domestic manufacturers and businesses. It focuses on domestic capacity building, innovative solutions, and procurement of essential supplies.
Critical infrastructure consists of the physical assets, information technology systems, networks and services essential to the health, safety, security and economic well-being of Canadians.
Under the Emergency Management Act, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness is responsible for leading the overall national effort to strengthen the resilience of critical infrastructure.
Canada’s National Strategy and Action Plan for Critical Infrastructure sets out an all-hazards risk management approach to strengthening the resilience of Canada’s critical infrastructure. This approach takes into account natural, accidental, and intentional threats that could affect Canada’s vital assets and systems.
The 10 critical infrastructure sectors outline in the National Strategy for Critical Infrastructure are: (1) energy and utilities, (2) finance, (3) food, (4) transportation, (5) government, (6) information and communication technology, (7) health, (8) water, (9) safety, and (10) manufacturing.
Lead Federal Departments are responsible for leading the activities of critical infrastructure sector networks. These activities include partnership building, sharing information, and advancing a common understanding of risks. Leads Federal Departments are aligned to the 10 critical infrastructure sectors.
The Government of Canada continuously works to enhance critical infrastructure resilience by identifying threats and hazards, sharing information on these findings with stakeholders, and working with industry partners to prepare for disruptions and incidents to better protect Canada and Canadians.
While each level of government is responsible for protecting its respective assets and services, the interconnected nature of critical infrastructure demands a collaborative effort.
Recognizing that most critical infrastructure in Canada is owned by the private and non-federal public sector, the National Strategy is based on three strategic objectives: (1) building partnerships, (2) implementing an all-hazards risk management approach, and (3) sharing and protecting information.
Collectively with the critical infrastructure community, we have achieved considerable progress since the release of the National Strategy, having focused on developing partnership and information-sharing mechanisms, physical and cyber exercises, and resilience and impact assessment programs.
The National Cross Sector Forum (chaired by Public Safety Canada (Craig Oldham, DG, Critical Infrastructure) and the Canadian Electricity Association (Francis Bradley, President and CEO.) is the primary mechanism for government to engage national leaders from each of Canada’s ten critical infrastructure sectors on the COVID-19 response.
The National Cross Sector Forum meets weekly and as required to provide critical infrastructure leaders with updates health (provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada) Government of Canada planning efforts (draft federal response plan development being led by the Government Operations Centre).
Additionally, the National Cross Sector Forum coordinates collective efforts and to provides an opportunity for owners and operators and industry partners to identify potential issues and needs of critical infrastructure sectors.
Prepared by: Ryan Schwartz, A/Director, 613-266-5094
Approved by: Dominic Rochon, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister,
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