Public Safety Minister emphasizes cyber defences in response to Auditor General's report

The report focused on whether the RCMP could effectively enforce cyber laws

Public Safety Minister emphasizes cyber defences in response to Auditor General's report

The Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs, Dominic LeBlanc, has issued a statement in response to the Office of the Auditor General of Canada’s (OAG) performance audit report on combating cybercrime.

The report, conducted under the Auditor General Act, independently and systematically evaluates how well the government manages its activities, responsibilities, and resources without commenting on policy merits. The report focused on whether the RCMP and selected federal entities had the capacity and capability to effectively enforce laws against cybercrime and ensure Canadians' safety and security.

According to the OAG, this audit is important because Canadian individuals, businesses, institutions, and infrastructure will continue to be targets for cybercriminals.

Minister LeBlanc expressed gratitude for the Auditor General's work and affirmed the Government's agreement with the report’s recommendations to enhance Canada's cyber defences.

Minister LeBlanc highlighted the established mechanisms for responding to high-priority cyber incidents, particularly those targeting Government of Canada systems and critical infrastructure. He emphasized the government's commitment to strengthening Canada’s cybercrime countermeasures, referencing significant investments made in recent years.

In 2020, the government allocated approximately $137.5 million to the RCMP to establish the National Cybercrime Coordination Centre. This centre collaborates with domestic and international law enforcement agencies and other partners to investigate and combat cybercrime. Additionally, the RCMP has invested $78.9 million to enhance its Federal Policing capacity by creating specialist cybercrime teams nationwide.

“Cybercrime investigations are complex and multijurisdictional,” said Minister LeBlanc. “Cyber criminals can operate from anywhere globally, making coordinated efforts essential to better protect Canadians.”

Minister LeBlanc also mentioned Bill C-26, An Act Respecting Cyber Security, which is progressing through Parliament. The bill aims to provide the Government of Canada with additional tools to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure systems from cyber threats

Looking ahead, Minister LeBlanc announced the upcoming launch of Canada’s new National Cyber Security Strategy. This strategy is expected to outline a comprehensive, whole-of-society approach to safeguarding Canada’s economic interests from cyber threats. The strategy will be unveiled in the coming months.

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