Status: Bill 1 introduced February 25, 2020
Ministry responsible: Justice and Solicitor General

Overview

Bill 1, the Critical Infrastructure Defence Act, has been introduced to protect 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 bill would build on existing trespassing laws to create offences for trespassing on, destroying, damaging, and obstructing the use or operation of any essential infrastructure.

Key changes

If passed, Bill 1 will:

  • legally define 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
  • allow regulations to expand the definition of essential infrastructure in the future if necessary
  • create 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
  • introduce 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

If passed, Bill 1 would come into force upon receiving royal assent.

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