Blair tasked with setting new Canadian security plan

Public Security Minister Bill Blair to develop new government-wide framework for protecting intellectual property, pipelines and information networks. The plan is expected to include more intelligence gathering and threat assessment.

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — 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 governmentwide development of a comprehensive framework to deal with the 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 cybercriminals demanding ransom for sensitive files.

The government says 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 has already 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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