July 20, 2024
The 'Critical Election Incidents' protocol: How the government plans to fight against interference in the election
National security agencies do the active monitoring of threats, but the plan centres around a five-person panel that will convene regularly during the campaign
National security agencies do the active monitoring of threats, but the plan centres around a five-person panel that will convene regularly during the campaign

OTTAWA — With the federal election set to kick off in September, the government has put the final touches on its plan to respond to any large-scale attack on the integrity of the election, such as the hacking into emails of political parties or sophisticated attempts at spreading false information.

It’s called the Critical Election Incident Public Protocol, and it has now been published as a cabinet directive. The directive sets out instructions on how public servants should operate during the campaign, a time when the government is in “caretaker” mode and politicians are to stay relatively hands-off.

On Tuesday, senior government officials briefed the media on how the protocol will work. The briefing was given on the condition that names not be used.

Who is in charge of responding to an interference attempt?

National security agencies do the active monitoring of threats, but the plan centres around a five-person panel that will convene regularly during the campaign.

The panel is made up of the most senior public servants responsible for national security: the Clerk of the Privy Council, the National Security and Intelligence Advisor, and the deputy ministers of the justice department, the public safety department, and the global affairs department.

Once a threat is detected, the panel will be briefed and will decide on a response. If the threat is deemed serious enough, the panel will inform the Prime Minister, Elections Canada and political party officials. It will then make a public announcement that outlines what is known and what Canadians should do to protect themselves.

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See Also:

(1) Bill 21 is ‘impermissibly vague,’ Quebec Superior Court hears

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