Politics

Federal government moves to counter security threats to Canada's economy

The Trudeau government is pressing ahead with efforts to counter economic-based threats to national security, such as theft of valuable intellectual property and damage to critical energy and information networks.

Public Safety Canada will take lead in developing framework to combat economic threats

A utilities technician works on power lines. The federal government says it's taking steps to counter security threats to key parts of the economy, such as energy systems. (CBC | High Arctic Haulers)

The Trudeau government is pressing ahead with efforts to counter economic-based threats to national security, such as theft of valuable intellectual property and damage to critical energy and information networks.

In its newly published plan for the coming year, Public Safety Canada says it will lead the government-wide development of a comprehensive framework to deal with a broad range of risks to Canada's economic well-being.

The move comes as security agencies warn Canadians of the rising danger of hostile nations pilfering trade secrets and cyber criminals demanding ransom for sensitive files.

The government says that in a few short years, the threat landscape — once dominated by the scourge of international terrorism — has evolved dramatically as potential adversaries develop new and aggressive tactics made possible by the rapid spread of technology.

Canada already has taken steps during the economic uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic to more strictly scrutinize foreign investments.

National security expert Wesley Wark says the federal plan will require improved economic intelligence-gathering and related threat assessments, which currently have no central focus within the Canadian security-and-intelligence community.

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