Critical Infrastructure

Classification: Unclassified

Branch/Agency: CID/NCSB

Proposed Response:


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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