CPWA Welcomes Government’s Budget 2018 Focus on Critical Infrastructure Resilience, Cyber Security and Access to Clean Drinking Water


OTTAWA, ONTARIO – February 28, 2018 – The Canadian Public Works Association (CPWA) applauds new investments in critical infrastructure resilience and cyber security announced by Finance Minister Morneau yesterday as part of the Government of Canada’s Budget 2018.  The 367-page budget "Equality + Growth: A Strong Middle Class" offers new funding to establish Canada’s first comprehensive cyber security strategy.

“The Government’s commitment to ensuring the stability and resilience of critical infrastructure and to the development of a comprehensive cyber security strategy is welcome news, particularly to municipal agencies responsible for public infrastructure, information and services,” said CPWA President Andrew Stevenson, of ATAP Infrastructure Management Ltd.

The government will invest $155.2 million over five years and then $44.5 million per year on an ongoing basis to establish the new Canadian Centre for Cyber Security. The new centre will:
  • Bring together federal operational cyber expertise from across the federal government under one roof.
  • Provide Canadian citizens and businesses with a clear and trusted place to turn to for cyber security information.
  • Advance partnerships and dialogue with other jurisdictions, the business community, academia and international partners.
A new National Cybercrime Coordination Unit will also coordinate cybercrime investigations and serve as a resource for Canadian citizens and business to report cybercrime incidents to law enforcement.

CPWA Executive Director Scott Grayson echoed Stevenson’s comments about the importance of a national cybersecurity strategy. “CPWA has long recognized that cyber education and communication among federal departments and the public is a critical component of ensuring that our critical infrastructure remains resilient against potential attacks. Our members are the eyes and ears on the ground and stand ready to assist in this great effort,” Grayson said.

Budget 2018 also provides Public Safety Canada with $1.4 million in 2018-2019 to enhance the resilience of Canada’s critical infrastructure systems and plan for unforeseen disruptions by continuing the operations of the Regional Resilience Assessment Program, which supports the assessment of critical infrastructure facilities, such as energy grids, information and communication technology networks and hospitals. These funds will also support the continued operations of the Virtual Risk Analysis Cell, which promotes online information sharing across the critical infrastructure community.

Mr. Stevenson commended the Government on this continued investment. “Public works agencies depend on reliable interoperable emergency communications systems that connect them during preparedness, response and recovery operations to other responders, including law enforcement, fire, emergency medical professionals, and other public works agencies,” he said.

CPWA also welcomes new investments to improve living conditions for Indigenous people. Budget 2018 builds on Budget 2016’s investment of $1.8 billion over five years for clean and safe drinking water in indigenous communities by providing an additional $172.6 million over three years to support repairs to high-risk water systems on reserve. In addition to preventing additional long-term drinking water advisories, these new investments will assist efforts to recruit, train and retain water operators, and establish innovative First Nations-led service delivery models.

“Clean water is something most Canadians take for granted, but many indigenous communities continue to face the challenge of access to adequate drinking water supplies,” said Stevenson.

CPWA, as “the voice of public works in Canada,” continues to focus on the importance of core public services, such as the operation and maintenance of transportation systems, water supplies, public facilities, storm drainage, and sewage and refuse disposal systems that are essential to Canada’s economy and quality of life.

“Being prepared for significant infrastructure investment is important to CPWA members,” Stevenson said. “CPWA stands ready to partner with the Government of Canada in major infrastructure renewal across the country.”

More Information:
Press Release
Budget 2018: Equality and Growth for a Strong Middle Class

MEDIA CONTACT: Emily Dowsett
Media Manager, Government Affairs
E: edowsett@apwa.net
P: 202.218.6736