Last year, the federal government published a revised strategy for keeping Canadians safe online. The officious National Cyber Security Strategy: Canada’s Vision for Security and Prosperity in the Digital Age clocks in at thirty-five pages.

Included in the strategy, which was the result of two years of consultations across industry and academia, is a dedication to invest $500 million dollars in the coming years to enhance the country’s institutions’ and citizens’ abilities to understand and combat cyber threats. Specifically, the strategy allocates funding for the new Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, the creation of a National Cybercrime Coordination Unit at the national level, and for cyber security innovation via both technology and talent development.

Now, as the federal election draws near, it’s worth every Canadian’s time to investigate what the various parties are offering regarding cyber security.

The Liberal Party

The Liberals have not as yet offered specific policy proposals, but the above strategy and the moneys it allocates stem from a Liberal government and so suggest that were they to be awarded a second term they would continue to give cyber security their attention. In large part the Liberal party platform focuses more on assessing and monitoring the powers of the Communications Security Establishment rather than threats to personal cyber security.

Further, they have promised to conduct a thorough review of existing measures to protect Canadians and our critical infrastructure from cyber-threats.

The Conservative Party

The Conservatives propose establishing a cabinet committee on cyber security and data privacy, which would elevate the issue to the highest levels of government. On September 06, 2019 party leader Andrew Scheer said if elected his government would create a certification system to let consumers know if certain digital products meet federal safety standards.

The crux of the Conservative’s plan is proposed legislation, first tabled in April, that would build on recent legislation requiring corporations and institutions that have suffered data breaches to report said breaches.

The NDP

While the Liberals and Conservatives have focused on threats to business and critical infrastructure, the NDP focuses on personal cybersecurity. The party’s platform pledges to enhance the new mandatory data breach reporting mechanisms, and to focus on “Internet of Things” concerns via consultations and a new all-party committee.

The Green Party

The Greens propose provisions to protect consumer and investors from fraud and theft, particularly as these crimes relate to cryptocurrencies.

The People’s Party of Canada

The People’s Party of Canada emphasizes the importance of removing regulatory burdens.

As you prepare to head to the polls on Monday, October 21st, we encourage you to think about which party best represents your views on cyber security and incorporate those considerations into your voting decision.

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