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/ Canadian Government Executive

// January 2016

The Interview



Revelations of hacking in both the private sector and the public sector over the last two years have

made Canadians much more aware of the need for cyber security. Patrice Dutil, the editor of CGE,

connected with

François Guimont

, Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada, the lead federal

government department responsible for Canada’s Cyber Security Strategy, to discuss the

situation. Guimont was named to the post in November 2012. He is responsible for portfolio

management comprising of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Border Services Agency,

Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Correctional Service of Canada and Parole Board of Canada.

He also oversees Emergency Preparedness and administers disaster relief legislation.


rior to this appointment, Mr.

Guimont served as the Deputy

Minister of Public Works and

Government Services (PWGSC)

(June 2007-November 2012) and the Presi-

dent of the Canadian Food Inspection

Agency (September 2005-June 2007). He

also served as the Associate Deputy Min-

ister of PWGSC (January 2005-September

2005) and the Deputy Commissioner of

the Canada Revenue Agency (Septem-

ber 2002-January 2005). He holds a Bach-

elor’s Degree in Biology from the Univer-

sity of Ottawa and two Master of Science

Degrees—one in water resources from

l’Institut national de la recherche scienti-

fique (INRS-Eau) and another in civil engi-

neering from Université Laval.


Cyber security has been in the

news a great deal of late. Is the

threat increasing?

There is no doubt that as a technological-

ly-advanced country that is becoming in-

creasingly reliant on cyber technologies,

Canada’s systems are attractive targets for

foreign military and intelligence services,

criminals and terrorist networks. These

groups are constantly looking for ways to

break into our computer systems, search

through our files, and cause our systems to

crash in order to steal our industrial and

national security secrets, and our personal

identities. This is why cyber security is so

vital: to maximize the benefits of cyber

space, we must ensure that our digital in-

frastructure is safe and resilient from ma-

licious cyber threats and actors.


How do you envision the

Government of Canada’s role in

cyber security?

The Government of Canada plays a criti-

cal role in helping to secure Canada’s

cyber systems and protect Canadians on-

line. Just as citizens have the right to feel

safe and secure in their communities, so

should they online.

on Leading the way in cyber security

Public Safety Canada is leading the Gov-

ernment of Canada in responding to cyber

security issues of concern to the govern-

ment as a whole. Today, our department

coordinates with twelve departments and

agencies within government, and chairs a

Deputy Minister Committee on cyber se-

curity. Part of this leadership role is also

bringing together private sector partners

with government and coordinating ef-

forts to address cyber security. We began

working with the private sector when we

were developing Canada’s Cyber Security

Strategy. They were our window into un-

derstanding the key cyber security issues

and concerns. From there, we developed

a mechanism – the Canadian Cyber Inci-

dent Response Centre (CCIRC) – to work

in partnership with private sector partners

and other levels of government. CCIRC

provides threat information on malicious

activities so all levels of Canadian govern-

ment and companies can better protect

themselves online.

We then took the idea of collaboration