Release of latest Assessment of the Critical Election Incident Public Protocol
Ottawa, Ontario, February 28, 2023 – Today, the Government of Canada released the independent assessment of the Critical Election Incident Public Protocol (CEIPP) covering the 44th Canadian general election held on September 20, 2021.
The CEIPP is administered by a Panel of senior federal public servants who, working with national security agencies, are responsible for communicating with Canadians in the event of an incident or series of incidents that threaten the integrity of a federal election. During the 2021 general election, the Panel did not detect foreign interference that threatened Canada’s ability to have a free and fair election.
As in 2019, an independent assessment of the CEIPP’s effectiveness in addressing threats to the 2021 election is required by Cabinet Directive. This directive also requires the report to be provided to the Prime Minister, the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians and, in an unclassified format, to the public. These reports are intended to help inform whether adjustments to the protocol should be made.
The 2021 assessment of the CEIPP, conducted by Morris Rosenberg, a former Deputy Minister from 1998 to 2013, found that the CEIPP worked well and should be maintained with some suggested improvements. The Government of Canada will be reviewing the recommendations carefully and responding in due course. They can be found in the Report. The release of the Report follows a national security review to prepare an unclassified and public version.
The CEIPP lays out a simple, clear and impartial process by which Canadians would be notified of an incident or series of incidents that threatened Canada’s ability to have a free and fair election. Regular assessments of the CEIPP have been conducted after Canada’s general elections in 2019 and 2021.
To ensure that Canada’s federal elections remain fair, trustworthy and participatory, the Government of Canada continues to take action through the 2019 Plan to Protect Canada’s Democracy. In addition to the CEIPP, measures include the Digital Citizen Initiative, the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace, the Security and Intelligence Threats to Elections (SITE) Task Force, the G7 Rapid Response Mechanism and the Canada Declaration on Election Integrity Online. Through these efforts, the Government of Canada is addressing threats to Canada’s democratic institutions and is helping to keep our democracy strong.
“I want to thank Mr. Rosenberg for his report and his recommendations. Since 2015, our government has taken action to protect our democracy and ensure Canada’s federal elections continue to be free and fair. We have always been clear: foreign interference poses a threat to all democracies, including ours. That’s why our government has put in place measures to counter this problem and strengthen Canada’s resilience to it. We will continue to work with Canadians and our allies to assess what additional tools and practices are needed to respond to the evolving nature of this threat.”
– The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities
Following the 2019 general election, James Judd, a former director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, released his independent assessment of the CEIPP. Recommendations, including that the CEIPP and the Panel remain in place for future elections, were taken into consideration prior to the 2021 general election.
Mr. Morris Rosenberg, a former senior public servant, was selected by the public service to prepare the independent report assessing the implementation of the CEIPP and its effectiveness in addressing threats to the 2021 general election.
The Government of Canada continues to take action to combat election interference, including by becoming a co-lead in the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace, renewing its Plan to Protect Canada’s Democracy and collaborating with key partners, including Elections Canada and the Commissioner for Canada Elections.
For more information (media only), please contact:
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities
Privy Council Office
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