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Canada’s National Strategy for Critical Infrastructure

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Type of organisation: Public Safety Canada

Country: Canada

Level of government: Central government

Type of practice: Other

Type of hazard or threat:

Risk management theme: Risk prevention & mitigation

The National Strategy for Critical Infrastructure sets the direction for enhancing the resilience of Canada’s critical infrastructure against current and emerging hazards. TheThe Strategy presents a collaborative approach to strengthening the resilience of critical infrastructure, by ensuring that federal, provincial and territorial critical infrastructure activities are complementary and respect the laws of each jurisdiction. It outlines mechanisms for enhanced information sharing and information protection, and dentifies the importance of a risk management approach to strengthen the resilience of critical infrastructure in Canada. Enhancing the resilience of critical infrastructure can be achieved through the appropriate combination of security measures to address intentional and accidental incidents, business continuity practices to deal with disruptions and ensure the continuation of essential services. It also addresses the importance of emergency management planning to ensure adequate response procedures are in place to deal with unforeseen disruptions and natural disasters.. At the national level, the Strategy classifies critical infrastructure within the 10 following sectors: energy and utilities, finance, food, transportation, government, information and communication technology, health, safety, water, manufacturing.

Why the good practice was developed

As the risks to critical infrastructure cut across jurisdictions and sectors, the Strategy provides a comprehensive and collaborative federal, provincial and territorial approach to enhancing the resilience of critical infrastructure. This common approach enables partners to respond collectively to risks and target resources to the most vulnerable areas of critical infrastructure.


  • Building partnerships at all levels of government, and with the private sector;

  • Implementing an all-hazards risk management approach;

  • Advancing the timely sharing of information among partners.



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The National Strategy was accompanied by an Action Plan for Critical Infrastructure (2010), which set out action items for each of the three strategic objectives. A summary of progress achieved under the original Action Plan is contained in the renewed Action Plan for Critical Infrastructure (2014-2017). 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 was already achieved under the original Action Plan (2010), with an emphasis on tangible risk management activities.

Lessons Learned

  • Critical infrastructure protection is becoming more and more important today, in particular in the context of increasingly interdependent economies.

  • The aim of a critical infrastructure strategy should not be absolute protection, but implementing measures that foster resilience.

  • Cross-sectoral cooperation and coordination is key.