Legislative Summary of Bill C-26: An Act respecting cyber security, amending the Telecommunications Act and making consequential amendments to other Acts

Legislative Summary
Legislative Summary of Bill C-26: An Act respecting cyber security, amending the Telecommunications Act and making consequential amendments to other Acts
Jed Chong, Economics, Resources and International Affairs Division
Khamla Heminthavong, Economics, Resources and International Affairs Division
Holly Porteous, Economics, Resources and International Affairs Division
Publication No. 44-1-C26-E
PDF 931, (18 Pages) PDF

About this publication

Any substantive changes in this Library of Parliament Legislative Summary that have been made since the preceding issue are indicated in bold print.


1 Background

Bill C‑26, An Act respecting cyber security, amending the Telecommunications Act and making consequential amendments to other Acts was introduced in the House of Commons by the Minister of Public Safety on 14 June 2022.1

This proposed legislation amends the Telecommunications Act2 and creates a new law, the Critical Cyber Systems Protection Act (CCSPA). The Telecommunications Act amendments empower the Governor in Council and the Minister of Industry to order Canadian telecommunications providers to take actions to secure the Canadian telecommunications system against a range of threats. These amendments follow the government’s announcement that it intends to use these powers to prohibit the use of Huawei and ZTE products and services in Canada’s telecommunications systems, particularly in 5G wireless networks.3 The United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Japan have also banned Huawei from their 5G networks.4

The CCSPA establishes a cyber security compliance regime for federally regulated critical cyber infrastructure. The CCSPA appears to be patterned after Australia’s Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018,5 which was amended under the Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Act 2021, 6 significantly expanding the Australian federal government’s powers to enforce cyber security obligations for critical infrastructures and to intervene in the private sector’s response to cyber incidents affecting critical infrastructures, among other things. Also of note is the United States’ Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act of 2022,7 which requires critical infrastructure operators to report cyber incidents to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and the United Kingdom’s The Network and Information Systems Regulations 2018 8 derived from the European Union’s 2016 Directive on security of network and information systems.9 The overarching objective of all these regimes is to achieve an enhanced and common level of security for critical cyber infrastructures and to heighten the situational awareness of the relevant authorities.

2 Description and Analysis

2.1 Part 1: Amendments to the Telecommunications Act

Part 1 of the bill contains 12 clauses. Key clauses are discussed in the following sections.

2.1.1 Canadian Telecommunications Policy Objectives (Clause 1)

Clause 1 of the bill makes promoting the security of the Canadian telecommunications system one of the policy objectives listed in section 7 of the Telecommunications Act (the Act). The addition allows the Minister of Industry and the Canadian Radio‑television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to consider this objective when exercising their respective powers under the Act. The same consideration is allowed under the Radiocommunications Act (the legislation that governs spectrum allocation), which incorporates the Act’s objectives by reference.10

2.1.2 Order-Making Powers (Clause 2)

Clause 2 adds sections 15.1 to 15.9 to the Act to give the federal government order‑making powers. Under new section 15.1, the Governor in Council may issue an order prohibiting a telecommunications service provider (TSP) from using the products and services of given suppliers, if they are of the opinion that it is necessary to do so to secure the Canadian telecommunications system. The Governor in Council may also direct a TSP to remove all products provided by a specified supplier from its networks or facilities.

New section 15.2(1) gives the Minister of Industry the authority to make several types of orders. After consultation with the Minister of Public Safety, the Minister of Industry may issue an order obligating a TSP to stop providing services – or suspend the provision of services for a specified period – to any person, including another TSP.

Under new section 15.2(2), the Minister of Industry may order a TSP to “do anything or refrain from doing anything” that is necessary, in the minister’s opinion, to secure the Canadian telecommunications system. This new section contains a non-exhaustive list of examples illustrating how the minister may use this authority. Among other things, the Minister of Industry may issue an order to:

  • prohibit a TSP from using any specified product or service in its networks or facilities;
  • direct a TSP to remove a specified product from its networks or facilities;
  • impose conditions on a TSP’s use of any product or service, or on the TSP’s provision of service to a specified person;
  • prohibit a TSP from upgrading any specified product or service;
  • subject a TSP’s networks or facilities, as well as its procurement plans for those networks or facilities, to specified review processes;
  • require a TSP to develop a security plan in relation to its services, networks or facilities;
  • require a TSP to conduct an assessment to identify any vulnerabilities in its services, networks, facilities or security plan; and
  • require a TSP to take steps to mitigate any vulnerabilities identified in its assessment.

The bill also specifies that no one is entitled to any compensation from the federal government for any financial losses resulting from these orders.

New section 15.4 allows the Minister of Industry to order any person to provide information required to implement the provisions of this legislation.

Although the bill requires the Governor in Council or the Minister of Industry to publish these orders in the Canada Gazette, it also allows them to include provisions in these orders that prohibit the disclosure of their existence or some or all of their contents. New section 15.5(1) specifies that this authority may be used to prohibit the disclosure of trade secrets or economically sensitive data.

The Act currently has provisions allowing information sharing between the CRTC and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. New section 15.6 broadens these provisions to include other ministers or entities that may be involved in making an order or in the investigation and enforcement activities related to an order.11

New section 15.7(1) allows the Minister of Industry to enter into an agreement to share any non-confidential information (i.e., information other than trade secrets or economically sensitive data) collected under the Act with a provincial government, foreign state or international organization. The minister must believe that such information sharing is relevant to securing the Canadian telecommunications system or the telecommunications system of a foreign state.

Under new section 15.8(1), the Governor in Council may make regulations covering anything that may be included in one of the ministerial orders.

New section 15.9 contains judicial review provisions. If an order of the Governor in Council or the Minister of Industry is challenged in court, the judge must hear evidence or other information from the federal government away from the public, the applicant and their counsel, if its disclosure could be injurious to international relations, national defence or national security, or if it could endanger the safety of any person.

The judge must provide the applicant with a summary of evidence and other information available to the judge that allows the applicant to be reasonably informed of the government’s case. The summary must not include anything that, in the judge’s opinion, would be injurious to international relations, national defence or national security, or would endanger the safety of any person if disclosed.

2.1.3 Inspection and Enforcement (Clauses 3 to 5)

Under clause 3, the CRTC is required to consider any orders of the Governor in Council or the Minister of Industry when exercising its powers and duties as regulator under the Act.

Clause 4 integrates the new order-making powers from clause 2 into the existing Act’s inspection and enforcement regime, allowing the Minister of Industry to designate inspectors to verify compliance or to prevent non-compliance with any orders issued using the new order-making powers contained in this bill.

Under section 72(1) of the Act, a person who has incurred a loss or damage because of a contravention of the Act (or any decision or regulation made under the Act) may sue the person responsible for the contravention for an amount equal to the loss or damage. Section 72(3) of the Act sets out an exception to this civil liability regime. Clause 5 amends section 72(3) of the Act to include the new order-making powers contained in this bill under this exception.

2.1.4 Administrative Monetary Penalties (Clauses 6 and 7)

Under current sections 72.001 and 72.01 of the Act, any individual who contravenes a provision of the Act or its regulations, for example, through unsolicited telecommunications or non-compliance with a CRTC decision, is liable to an administrative monetary penalty. Clause 6 amends section 72.001 to specify that the new order-making powers contained in this bill are not subject to the Act’s existing general administrative monetary penalties scheme. Clause 7 adds an administrative monetary penalty scheme after section 72.13, under new sections 72.131 to 72.1393, for violations of the new order-making powers.

Clause 7 provides that a person who contravenes a provision, order or regulation (new sections 72.131 and 72.132) commits a violation liable to an administrative monetary penalty. Individuals may incur a penalty of up to $25,000 per day for each day the violation continues, or up to $50,000 per day for a subsequent contravention. In other cases, the penalty may be up to $10 million per day, or up to $15 million per day for a subsequent contravention. Clause 7 also lists the criteria that the Minister of Industry must consider when determining the amount of the penalty, such as the nature and scope of the violation, the history of compliance of the person who committed the violation and the person’s ability to pay the penalty (new section 72.133(1)). According to new section 72.133(2), while the bill establishes a system of administrative monetary penalties, the purpose of the penalty is not to punish but to promote compliance with orders and regulations. Designation of a Person or Class of Persons Authorized to Issue Notices of Violation, Content of Notices and Representations

Clause 7 outlines a procedure should new section 72.131 be contravened. The minister may designate a person or class of persons authorized to issue notices of violation (new section 72.134) and to cause a notice of violation to be served on a person whom they believe, on reasonable grounds, has committed a violation (new section 72.135(1)).

Any notice of violation must name the person believed to have committed the violation, identify the violation and include the amount of the penalty for which the person is liable, as well as the manner of payment. It must also indicate that the person has a right to either pay the penalty or make representations to the minister within the period specified (new section 72.135(2)).

When a person served with a notice of violation makes representations to the minister, the minister must decide, on a balance of probabilities, whether the person committed the violation (new section 72.136(2)). Under new section 72.136(3), a person who is served with a notice of violation and neither pays the penalty nor makes representations is deemed to have committed the violation. The minister may then impose the penalties set out in the notice. Proceedings in Respect of a Violation, Commission of Violation by a Corporation, and Limitation Period or Prescription

Under new section 72.137, if a designated person offers to enter into a compliance agreement with the person believed to have committed the violation, the agreement is subject to any terms the designated person finds appropriate, including the reduction, in whole or in part, of the penalty set out in the notice of violation. It also provides that entering into a compliance agreement means the person is deemed to have committed the violation, and they may not, in this case, make representations. If the designated person is of the opinion that the person who has entered into a compliance agreement has complied with it, the designated person must serve notice of this, which ends the proceedings. In the event of non-compliance, the person who has entered into the compliance agreement receives a notice of default explaining that they are liable for paying the amount set out in the notice of violation within the time and in the manner set out in that notice.

When a corporation is believed to have committed a violation, its officers, directors, agents or mandataries are liable for the violation if they directed, authorized, assented to, acquiesced in or participated in the commission of the violation, whether or not the corporation is proceeded against (new section 72.138).

Any proceeding in respect of a violation may not be commenced later than three years after the day on which the subject matter of the proceeding becomes known to the minister (new section 72.1391(1)).

2.1.5 Provisions Common to Administrative Monetary Penalties Schemes (Clause 11)

To encourage compliance, the bill relies on both an administrative monetary penalties scheme and a sentencing scheme. Like the administrative monetary penalties scheme, the bill’s sentencing scheme recognizes the personal responsibility of officers, directors, agents or mandataries who directed, authorized, assented to, acquiesced in or participated in the commission of an offence (clause 11). Evidence and Defence (Clause 9)

In the case of a corporation, anyone who contravenes an order or a regulation is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable to a fine in an amount that is at the discretion of the court. In the case of an individual, an offence is punishable by imprisonment for a term of not more than two years less a day, to a fine as the court considers appropriate or to both (new section 73(3.1)).

Clause 9 amends section 72.14 to specify that, in a proceeding in respect of a violation, a notice or a copy of the decision purporting to be served in application of this provision is admissible as evidence without proof of the signature or official character of the person appearing to have signed it.

In most cases, it is a defence for a person in a proceeding in relation to a violation, under new section 73(3.4), to establish that the person exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of the offence.

2.1.6 Consequential Amendment to the Canada Evidence Act (Clause 12)

Clause 12 amends the schedule to the Canada Evidence Act12 (CEA) to add that a judge of the Federal Court is a “designated entity” for the purposes of section 15.9 of the Telecommunications Act. Under the CEA, designated entities listed in the schedule that make a decision or order that would result in the disclosure of sensitive or potentially injurious information must not disclose that information or cause it to be disclosed until notice has been given to the Attorney General of Canada and a period of ten days has elapsed after that notice.

2.2 Part 2: The Critical Cyber Systems Protection Act (Clause 13)

Clause 13 of the bill enacts the Critical Cyber Systems Protection Act (CCSPA). Key provisions of the CCSPA are discussed in the following sections.

Sections 6 and 7 respectively of the CCSPA empower the Governor in Council to order the addition of federally regulated “vital services and vital systems” to Schedule 1 of the CCSPA and to add designated operators and regulators of these vital services and systems to Schedule 2 of the CCSPA.

Schedule 1 identifies six vital services and systems: telecommunications services, interprovincial or international pipeline and power line systems, nuclear energy systems, transportation systems that are within the legislative authority of Parliament, banking systems, and clearing and settlement systems.

Being identified as a “designated operator” of a vital service or system under Schedule 2 creates a range of obligations, first and foremost the obligation to establish a cyber security program within 90 days after becoming a member of a class of operators under Schedule 2.

2.2.1 Designated Operators Required to Establish and Maintain a Cyber Security Program

Section 9(1) of the CCSPA specifies the expected outcomes of this cyber security program. They include:

  • identifying and managing any cyber risks to the organization, including supply chain risks and risks posed by third-party products and services;
  • preventing critical cyber systems from being compromised;
  • detecting any cyber security incidents that could affect or that are affecting critical cyber systems; and
  • limiting damage in the event of a cyber security incident affecting critical cyber systems.

A critical cyber system is defined under section 2 of the CCSPA as “a cyber system that, if its confidentiality, integrity or availability were compromised, could affect the continuity or security of a vital service or vital system.” Under the same section, a cyber security incident is defined as an act, omission or circumstance that interferes or may interfere with the continuity, security, confidentiality, integrity or availability of a critical cyber system.

Section 9(1)(e) requires designated operators to “do anything that is prescribed by the regulations,” which suggests federal government directives on cyber security programs for vital services and systems will be issued on an ongoing basis. This interpretation is reinforced by section 12 of the CCSPA, which directs designated operators to maintain their cyber security program over time.

Section 10 of the CCSPA requires designated operators to immediately notify the “appropriate regulator” 13 that they have established a cyber security program and make this program available to the regulator within 90 days of their Schedule 2 designation. Under Schedule 2, each designated operator belongs to a class of operators and each class of operators has a specified regulator to whom they must report.

However, section 11 allows the regulator to extend one or more times the designated operator’s 90-day deadline for establishing a cyber security program or making this program available to the regulator in the prescribed fashion, or both.

Section 12 of the CCSPA requires designated operators to not only implement their cyber security programs but also maintain them over time. The CCSPA sets out two mechanisms to ensure cyber security programs remain up to date: regulations and program reviews. While section 9(1)(e) requires designated operators to adhere to regulations, section 13 stipulates that designated operators must complete a review of their cyber security program within a 60-day period at least once a year, unless otherwise prescribed by regulation.

Designated operators must act on the review’s findings, amending their cyber security program if necessary. Unless otherwise directed by the regulator, designated operators are required under section 13(3) to inform the regulator of whether they have made any changes to their program as a result of the program review within 30 days after completing that review.

Regulators are to be kept informed about other developments that could impact a designated operator’s cyber security posture. Section 14 of the CCSPA directs designated operators to inform their regulators within 90 days of any material changes to:

  • their ownership or control of a vital service or system;
  • their supply chain or use of third-party services or products; and
  • any circumstance prescribed by regulation.

Again, the regulator has discretion to extend this 90-day deadline one or more times.

Section 15 of the CCSPA requires that supply chain and third-party cyber security risks be treated with urgency. Designated operators must take reasonable steps, including those that may be prescribed through regulation, to mitigate these risks “as soon as” they are discovered. A regulator is authorized under section 16 to disclose any information, including confidential information,14 about a designated operator’s cyber security program and section-15 risk mitigation measures to the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) to obtain CSE’s “advice, guidance or services.”

2.2.2 Mandatory Cyber Incident Reporting

The CCSPA imposes mandatory – possibly even automated15 – cyber security incident reporting requirements for designated operators. Section 17 directs designated operators to “immediately” report to CSE any cyber security incident involving their critical cyber systems so that CSE can “exercise its powers or perform its duties and functions.” Under section 18(b) of the Communications Security Establishment Act (CSE Act),16 CSE is mandated to carry out cyber defence operations to help protect “electronic information and information infrastructures designated … as being of importance to the Government of Canada.”

According to sections 17 and 18, designated operators are required to report a cyber security incident to CSE prior to notifying their regulator that an incident has occurred. Section 18(b) of the CCSPA further stipulates that designated operators provide cyber security incident reports to their regulator only “on request.” Again, the timing and priority given to conveying incident-related information to CSE strongly suggest that the objective is to provide CSE with nationwide situational awareness that would enable it to defend vital systems and services if asked to do so.

Although regulators have access to cyber security incident reporting under section 18(b), section 19 directs CSE to provide a copy or a portion of an incident report to the appropriate regulator, upon request, for the purpose of verifying regulatory compliance or preventing non-compliance.

The CCSPA’s inclusion of an additional means for regulators to obtain information about cyber security incidents likely reflects the possibility that CSE will learn of a cyber security incident through its own mandated activities and international intelligence sharing partnerships, rather than through reporting from one or more designated operators. Some of this CSE-originated reporting may also contain foreign intelligence or special operational information (e.g., regarding sources and methods) that cannot be shared further.

2.2.3 Cyber Security Directions

Sections 20 through 23 of the CCSPA empower the Governor in Council to issue secret orders called “cyber security directions” to designated operators. This secrecy is enabled by section 22(1), which exempts cyber security directions from sections 3, 5 and 11 of the Statutory Instruments Act (SIA).17 Section 3 of the SIA requires that proposed regulations be examined in consultation with the Deputy Minister of Justice for, among other things, compliance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.18 Section 5 of the SIA requires that all regulations be transmitted in both official languages to the Clerk of the Privy Council for registration, and section 11 of the SIA requires that all regulations be published in the Canada Gazette within 23 days of registration.

Under sections 24 and 25 of the CCSPA, designated operators that are subject to cyber security directions are prohibited from disclosing or allowing others to disclose the contents of these directions or even the fact that directions were issued, unless the disclosure is necessary to comply with a direction.

2.2.4 Federal Court Review

Section 145 of the CCSPA provides for a Federal Court review of cyber security directions. However, the Minister of Public Safety may request that such proceedings be held in a closed court and that the applicant and the applicant’s counsel be provided with a summary of the evidence rather than a full disclosure of the government’s case. If the judge accepts the government’s argument that the disclosure of information or evidence in relation to the review could be injurious to international relations, national defence security or national security, or it could endanger the safety of any person, the CCSPA requires the judge to protect the confidentiality of this information or evidence. Also of note, section 145(1)(e) indicates that the judge’s decision may be based on evidence not provided to the applicant.

2.2.5 Information Disclosure Prohibitions and Permissions

Sections 26 through 29 address the disclosure and use of information collected under the CCSPA. While the CCSPA prohibits knowingly disclosing or allowing the disclosure of confidential information, it also creates a list of exceptions, including in section 26(1)(f) for disclosure under the Security of Canada Information Disclosure Act,19 which allows the disclosure of information among 17 federal departments and agencies in order to protect Canada from “activities that undermine the security of Canada.”

Section 26(1)(b) of the CCSPA creates an exception to the prohibition against disclosure for “publicly available information.” At present, section 2 of the CSE Act provides the most expansive definition of publicly available information in Canadian law, defining it as “information that has been published or broadcast for public consumption, is accessible to the public on the global information infrastructure … or is available to the public on request, by subscription or by purchase.” 20

Section 27 of the CCSPA permits the Minister of Public Safety, responsible ministers and regulators to enter into written information-sharing agreements or arrangements with provincial governments, foreign states or international organizations established by the governments of foreign states. Exchanges of information under these agreements or arrangements must relate to the protection of critical cyber systems, and with the exception provided for provincial governments under section 27(2), cannot include confidential information.

2.2.6 Records to Be Maintained, Generally Off-Site

Section 30 of the CCSPA requires designated operators to maintain records of their respective cyber security programs, including steps taken to mitigate supply-chain or third-party risks, all reported cyber security incidents, measures taken to implement cyber security directions and any matter prescribed by the regulations.

Though the CCSPA does not provide explicit instruction in this regard, measures are likely required to safeguard these records against unauthorized disclosure. Section 30(2) supports this interpretation by requiring designated operators to maintain their records within Canada, at a place and in a manner prescribed by regulation. In the absence of regulations, records are to be maintained at the designated operator’s place of business.

2.2.7 Powers of the Regulators

Sections 32 to 85 of the CCSPA set out the powers of each of the six regulators assigned to oversee the operation of vital services and systems. For the purpose of verifying compliance or preventing non-compliance with the CCSPA and its regulations, each of these six regulators is permitted to enter any place – other than a dwelling-house – without consent or a warrant (sections 32, 41, 50, 59, 68 and 78). Sections 33(2), 42(2), 51(2), 60(2), 69(2) and 79(2) require the regulator to obtain a warrant from a justice of the peace through an ex parte application to enter a dwelling-house.

Upon entry to a place, a regulator may examine, use or cause to be used any cyber system to obtain information from it, among other things. The regulator may then prepare or cause to be prepared a document capturing this information. The regulator also has authority to examine and copy any record, report, data or any other document in the place, using copying equipment found in the place, if required. Lastly, the regulator is authorized to remove any document, record or cyber system – in part or in whole – from the place in order to examine or copy it.

2.2.8 Regulators May Order Mandatory Internal Audits by Designated Operators

Under sections 34, 43, 52, 61, 70 and 80 of the CCSPA and subject to any regulations, a regulator may issue a written order directing a designated operator to undertake an internal audit within a specified period to determine compliance with the CCSPA and its regulations. As these orders are exempt from the SIA, they are not published in the Canada Gazette and are therefore not public.

Sections 35, 44, 53, 62, 71 and 81 require the designated operator to report the findings of its audit to the regulator. Where the designated operator has determined that there is non‑compliance, the designated operator’s report to the regulator must identify the nature of the non-compliance and describe the measures the designated operator will take to comply.

If a regulator has reasonable grounds to believe that a designated operator is or will likely be in contravention of the CCSPA or any of its regulations, sections 36, 45, 54, 63, 73 and 82 empower the regulator to order the designated operator to stop doing, or cause to be stopped, whatever is or is likely in contravention within a specified period. Likewise, the regulator may order the designated operator to take measures to mitigate the effects of non-compliance. Again, under sections 36(3), 45(3), 54(3), 63(3), 73(4) and 82(3), these compliance orders are not made public.

Sections 37, 46, 55, 64, 74 and 83 of the CCSPA state explicitly that a designated operator subject to such an order must comply with it and immediately notify the appropriate regulator when it has complied.

2.2.9 Compliance Order Review Requests

Under section 38 of the CCSPA, a designated operator subject to a compliance order may submit a written request to the regulator to review the order (sections 38, 47, 56, 65, 84 and 75(2) to 75(4)). The review request must be submitted in the time and manner set out in the compliance order, state the grounds for the review and provide supporting evidence for the review. However, unless the regulator decides otherwise, the compliance order stands during the review.

Once the regulator has completed a compliance order review, sections 39, 48, 57, 66, 76 and 85 require the regulator to confirm, amend, revoke or cancel the order and provide notice of this decision and the reasons for it to the designated operator. Alternatively, if the regulator has not made a decision within 90 days after receiving a review request or after any other time period that has been mutually agreed to by the regulator and designated operator, the regulator is deemed to have confirmed the original compliance order.

Section 146 of the CCSPA directs the Minister of Public Safety to prepare a report on the administration of the CCSPA within three months after the end of each fiscal year and to table this report in the Senate and the House of Commons within the first 15 sitting days after the report’s completion.

2.2.10 Consequential Amendment to the Canada Evidence Act (Clause 14)

Similar to clause 12, clause 14 of the bill amends the schedule to the CEA to add that a judge of the Federal Court is a “designated entity” for the purposes of section 145 of the CCSPA.

2.2.11 Consequential Amendment to the Office of Superintendent of Financial Institutions Act (Clauses 15 and 16)

Clause 15 amends section 23(1) of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Act21 to require, before 31 December of each year, the Superintendent to ascertain the total amount of expenses incurred during the preceding fiscal year in connection with its CCSPA-related responsibilities.

Clause 16 adds the CCSPA to the schedule of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Act. The Superintendent must “examine into and report to” the Minister of Finance regarding each of the Acts included in the schedule.

2.2.12 Consequential Amendment to the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (Clause 17)

Clause 17 amends the Nuclear Safety and Control Act22 to allow the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to charge fees for any information, product or service that it provides under another Act of Parliament. It also allows the Commission to refund these fees in certain circumstances. The amendment requires the Commission to spend the fees in the fiscal year in which the revenues are received or in the next fiscal year.

2.2.13 Consequential Amendment to the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada Act (Clause 18)

Clause 18 amends the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada Act23 to give the Tribunal jurisdiction over reviews and appeals in connection with administrative monetary penalties provided for under sections 127 to 133 of the CCSPA.

2.2.14 Coming into Force (Clause 19)

Under clause 19, this part of the bill comes into force on a day or days to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council.


  1. Bill C‑26, An Act respecting cyber security, amending the Telecommunications Act and making consequential amendments to other Acts, 44th Parliament, 1st Session. Note that this legislative summary refers to the “Minister of Public Safety” rather than the “Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness” to reflect current usage rather than the wording in the statute that created this department in 2005 – the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Act – which remains unchanged. See Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Act, S.C. 2005, c. 10. [ Return to text ]
  2. Telecommunications Act, S.C. 1993, c. 38. [ Return to text ]
  3. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), Statement from Minister Champagne on telecommunications security, 19 May 2022; and ISED, Policy Statement – Securing Canada’s Telecommunications System. [ Return to text ]
  4. Sarah Lemelin-Bellerose, “5G Technology: Opportunities, Challenges and Risks,” HillNotes, Library of Parliament, 13 February 2020; and United Kingdom, Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, National Cyber Security Centre and the Rt. Hon. Oliver Dowden, Huawei to be removed from UK 5G networks by 2027, News release, 14 July 2020. [ Return to text ]
  5. Australia, Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018, Act no. 29. [ Return to text ]
  6. Australia, Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Act 2021, Act no. 124. [ Return to text ]
  7. United States, Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act of 2022, Public Law 117‑103, 117th Congress,136 Stat. 49, Division Y in Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022, H.R.2471, s. 101. [ Return to text ]
  8. United Kingdom, The Network and Information Systems Regulations 2018, 2018 No. 506. [ Return to text ]
  9. European Union, EUR-Lex, Directive (EU) 2016/1148 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 2016 concerning measures for a high common level of security of network and information systems across the Union, Official Journal no. L194. [ Return to text ]
  10. Public Safety Canada, Overview of the Proposed Changes to the Telecommunications Act, Backgrounder. [ Return to text ]
  11. Ibid. [ Return to text ]
  12. Canada Evidence Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-5. [ Return to text ]
  13. Depending on the economic sector of the designated operator, the “regulator” may be: the Minister of Industry; the Minister of Transport; the Superintendent of Financial Institutions; the Bank of Canada; the Canadian Energy Regulator; or the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. [ Return to text ]
  14. Section 2 of the Critical Cyber Systems Protection Act defines confidential information as any information that:
    1. concerns a vulnerability of any designated operator’s critical cyber system or the methods used to protect that system and that is consistently treated as confidential by the designated operator;
    2. if disclosed could reasonably be expected to result in material financial loss or gain to, or could reasonably be expected to prejudice the competitive position of, a designated operator; or
    3. if disclosed could reasonably be expected to interfere with contractual or other negotiations of a designated operator.
    [ Return to text ]
  15. Automated security information and event management (SIEM) tools have existed for decades. Nonetheless, it is possible that some designated operators are not using them or that the SIEM tools they are using are incapable of providing the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) with specific incident-related information in a timely fashion. It is therefore noteworthy that Australia’s Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018 empowers its Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs to require a critical infrastructure operator to install and maintain system information software that collects and records system information to be transmitted to the Australian Signals Directorate (CSE’s Australian counterpart). See Australia, Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018, Act no. 29.
    Stakeholders identified this provision as being of greatest concern when it was first proposed in 2020. See Parliament of Australia, Leah Ferris and Bernie Lai, Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure Protection) Bill 2022 pdf (763 KB, 37 pages), Bills Digest No. 55, 2021–2022, Parliamentary Library, 28 March 2022, p. 3. [ Return to text ]
  16. Communications Security Establishment Act, S.C. 2019, c. 13, s. 76. [ Return to text ]
  17. Statutory Instruments Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. S‑22. [ Return to text ]
  18. Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Part 1 of the Constitution Act, 1982, being Schedule B to the Canada Act 1982, 1982, c. 11 (U.K.). [ Return to text ]
  19. Security of Canada Information Disclosure Act, S.C. 2015, c. 20, s. 2. [ Return to text ]
  20. For an analysis of existing legal definitions of “publicly available information” in Canadian privacy law, see Holly Porteous, “The Growing Importance of Open-Source Intelligence to National Security,” HillNotes, Library of Parliament, 17 February 2022. [ Return to text ]
  21. Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. 18 (3rd Supp.), Part I. [ Return to text ]
  22. Nuclear Safety and Control Act, S.C. 1997, c. 9. [ Return to text ]
  23. Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada Act, S.C. 2001, c. 29. [ Return to text ]

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