Main Estimates – Communications Security Establishment

  • The Communications Security Establishment plays a critical role in protecting Canada's security, while safeguarding Canadians' rights.
  • The Communications Security Establishment provides valuable foreign intelligence to inform the Government of Canada's decision making and protect national security.
  • Its sophisticated cyber and technical expertise also helps identify, prepare for, and defend against threats to Canada and its cyber systems and networks.

Key Facts

  • The Communications Security Establishment's (CSE) Main Estimates are $711.8M, a net decrease of $21.2M from the 2019-20 Main Estimates.
  • The decrease in CSE's Main Estimates can be attributed to:
    • A decrease in planned funding because of the winding down of the construction and fit-up of the new facility for the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security ($7.8M),
    • Decreased funding for two Cyber Centre projects ($10.3M),
    • Decreased funding associated with changes in programs supporting CSE's mandate ($3.5M); and
    • Decreased funding for the Critical Cyber Systems initiative ($9.1M).
  • This decrease is partially offset by an increase in funding for three initiatives under the National Cyber Security Strategy ($9.5M).


  • CSE's 2020-21 Main Estimates are $711.8M, which includes $16.1M for revenues and $45.5M for statutory items.
  • This is a net decrease of $21.2M from the previous year's Main Estimates of $733.0M, attributable to:
    • A reduction of $7.8M in the planned funding profile for the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security as the construction and fit-up of the new Cyber Centre facility winds down.
    • A decrease in funding of $10.3M for two Cyber Centre projects:
      • Sunset of $2.3M in funding for the Secure Communications for National Leadership (SCNL) project and
      • A decrease of $8.0M in the Phase Two funding for the Canadian Cryptographic Modernization Program (CCMP) as the project ramps down.
    • A net decrease of $3.5M associated with changes in other programs supporting CSE's mandate, including:
      • A planned reduction for internal services support for Maintaining the Government of Canada's Information Technology Security Posture Initiative (Critical Erosion), which sought program integrity funding for the Information Technology Security Program (now part of the Cyber Centre); and
      • A decrease in CSE's costs associated with its staff located at liaison offices abroad because of a transition to Global Affairs Canada's (GAC) service model.
    • Finally, a decrease of $9.1M for the Critical Cyber Systems initiative – included in CSE's 2019-20 Main Estimates through a Budget Implementation Vote – because the funding was not accessed due to a delay in the tabling of the necessary enabling legislation.  
  • This decrease is partially offset by an increase of $9.5M for three initiatives under the National Cyber Security Strategy, provided to CSE in 2019-20 through a Budget Implementation Vote:
    • Improved Integrated Threat Assessments ($3.6M)
    • Expanding Advice and Guidance to the Finance and Energy Sector ($2.3M); and
    • Interim Quantum Safe Capability ($3.6M).

5G/Telecommunications Security

  • As part of its cyber security mandate, CSE works with telecommunications service providers representing over 99% of Canadian subscribers.
  • In this role, CSE provides advice and guidance to mitigate supply chain risks in telecommunications infrastructures upon which Canadians rely. This includes a program in place since 2013 to restrict the deployment of designated equipment from sensitive areas of the network and to test and evaluate designated equipment and services, including Huawei, considered for use in less sensitive areas of Canadian 3G and 4G/LTE networks.
  • The Government of Canada is currently reviewing its security approach to emerging 5G technology.


  • Cyber threat actors are attempting to take advantage of Canadians' heightened levels of anxiety around COVID-19.
  • That is why CSE and its Canadian Centre for Cyber Security are working in coordination with industry partners to take action against malicious cyber actors and fraudulent sites before they can take advantage of Canadians. This work is resulting in the removal of a number of malicious sites, including over 3,500 sites and email addresses that have spoofed the Government of Canada (as of mid-October 2020).
  • Canadians need to be able to trust official Government of Canada sources during this challenging time for our country and CSE is taking action to ensure they can.

Back to top

Page details

Date modified: