Protecting critical infrastructure

The Critical Infrastructure Defence Act (Bill 1) protects essential infrastructure by creating offences for trespassing, interfering with operations or causing damage.

Status: Bill 1 came into force June 17, 2020
Ministry responsible: Justice and Solicitor General


Bill 1, the Critical Infrastructure Defence Act ,protects essential infrastructure from damage or interference caused by blockades, protests or similar activities, which can cause significant public safety, social, economic and environmental consequences.

The act builds on existing trespassing laws to create offences for trespassing on, destroying, damaging, and obstructing the use or operation of any essential infrastructure.

Key changes

The act:

  • legally defines essential infrastructure to include public and private infrastructure such as:
    • pipelines and related infrastructure
    • oil and gas production and refinery sites
    • utilities (electric, gas, and water)
    • telecommunication lines, towers, and equipment
    • highways
    • railways
    • mines
  • allows regulations to expand the definition of essential infrastructure in the future if necessary
  • creates offences for:
    • wilfully entering any essential infrastructure
    • wilfully destroying or damaging essential infrastructure
    • wilfully obstructing, interrupting or interfering with the construction, maintenance, use or operation of any essential infrastructure
    • gaining entry to any essential infrastructure under false pretenses
    • an individual or corporation to aid, counsel or direct the commission of an offence
  • introduces penalties similar to the Trespass to Premises Act and the Petty Trespass Act:
    • up to $10,000 for a first offence
    • up to $25,000 for subsequent offences, as well as possible prison time of up to 6 months
    • up to $200,000 for corporations that help or direct trespassers

Next steps

Bill 1 came into force on June 17, 2020.