Canada lacks national strategy to respond to terrorists, natural disasters and cyber-attacks
Canada needs a national strategy to properly respond to terrorists, cyber attacks and natural disasters, according to a recently released national study. There is a lack of information sharing between jurisdictions and no comprehensive national strategy to protect critical infrastructure (CI).
“This central national security issue is dependent on a weak, incoherent federal ‘framework document’ developed by Public Safety Canada meant to guide a plethora of conflicting authorities if they decided to produce CI security policies,” says Douglas Bland, one of the study’s authors and a Queen’s Defence Research Fellow. “There is no reliable mechanism to hold anyone to account for any decisions regarding Canada’s CI security because no one is accountable for Canada’s national CI security.”
Canada’s critical infrastructure is comprised of the systems that power electricity, deliver food and enable Canadians’ day-to-day lives. These are systems that, if compromised, would have a devastating impact on the health, safety, security or economic wellbeing of the country.
“Between government and industry, the sharing of information is sadly lacking,” says Queen’s co-author Andrew Graham.
He outlines several solutions to help solve the problem, including creating a Critical Infrastructure Council, invest more in research to develop solutions and give tax incentives to companies to boost security.
Solutions To Critical Infrastructure Problems is produced by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute for Public Policy. Other authors on the study include Stuart Farson (Simon Fraser University), James Cox (Macdonald-Laurier Institute) and Barry Cooper (University of Calgary).