Frequently Asked Questions - EIPD

Who is responsible for the protection of Canada's critical energy infrastructure?

Critical energy infrastructure protection is a shared responsibility of the private sector and all levels of government. The private sector owns approximately 85 percent of the energy infrastructure in Canada. Under our constitution, responsibility for energy matters is divided between the federal and provincial governments. This creates both a challenge for managing this initiative and an opportunity for the federal government to take a leadership role to ensure that all responsible entities are working collaboratively to achieve common security goals.

What is Natural Resources Canada's role?

Given the importance of energy to Canada's economy and way of life, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is taking a leadership role in promoting initiatives to protect the energy infrastructure, using an"all-hazards"approach (i.e., natural disasters, accidents, severe weather, malicious acts). NRCan is working together cooperatively with the provincial and territorial governments, the companies that own the facilities, and the industry associations, to protect Canada's critical energy infrastructure and avoid disruption of energy supply.

Can you give some specific examples of work that you do?

NRCan has taken a leadership role in the sharing of information with energy sector stakeholders through forums; workshops; and classified briefings held in collaboration with the security and intelligence community (i.e., the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Integrated Threat Assessment Centre). NRCan has also taken a leadership role in promoting scientific research and development of emerging technologies relating to critical energy infrastructure to support security enhancement measures (i.e., pipeline reliability, explosives modeling and analysis, earthquake monitoring and alerts).

Why is NRCan conducting assessments of critical energy infrastructure?

Canada and the United States (U.S. ) agreed, pursuant to the Smart Border Declaration of 2001, to conduct joint vulnerability assessments on critical cross-border energy infrastructure (electrical generation and transmission lines, oil and natural gas pipeline systems, dams and refineries). Since March 2005, the vulnerability assessment program has been conducted pursuant to the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) of North America, a framework for addressing security among Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. The SPP and its associated work plan builds upon the Smart Border Declaration and includes many initiatives for which NRCan is responsible. Vulnerability assessment of critical energy infrastructure figures prominently.

Is the critical energy infrastructure at risk of a terrorist attack?

There have been no substantiated specific threats to Canada's energy infrastructure; however, we must remain vigilant.