Canada’s National Strategy for Critical Infrastructure defines critical infrastructure as the processes, systems, facilities, technologies, networks, assets, and services essential to the health, safety, security or economic well-being of Canadians and the effective functioning of government. The Strategy classifies critical infrastructure in Canada according to ten sectors:
- Energy and Utilities
- Information and Communication Technologies
To protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions are in effect for foreign nationals seeking to enter Canada. In the case of the United States, the intent is to restrict leisure travel while minimizing the impact on business activities required for Canada’s economic integrity.Footnote1
Domestically, a number of jurisdictions within Canada have announced that business closures and border measures are in effect. Provincial and territorial announcements have highlighted that only organizations necessary to provide “essential services” are permitted to operate.
Public Safety Canada has developed a set of functions deemed essential in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic to help provinces/territories, Indigenous communities, and municipalities protect their communities while maintaining the reliable operation of critical infrastructure services and functions to ensure the health, safety, and economic well-being of the population. These services and functions can also help the private sector self-identify as essential.
These services and functions are considered essential to preserving life, health and basic societal functioning. These include, but are not limited to, the functions performed by first responders, health care workers, critical infrastructure workers (e.g., hydro and natural gas), and workers who are essential to supply critical goods such as food and medicines. Workers who deliver essential services and functions should continue to do their jobs provided they have no symptoms of COVID-19 disease. Employers of these workers should take all possible steps to protect their health and safety by implementing practices and procedures recommended by public health authorities and providing appropriate protective equipment and products. Further, workers who can perform their tasks remotely should do so.