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Canadian telecoms applaud new legislation for network safeguards

The Canadian Telecommunications Association welcomes new legislation that would help safeguard Canada’s communications networks by imposing new offences in the Criminal Code for sabotaging essential infrastructure.

Tabled in the House of Commons on May 6th, Bill C-70, An Act respecting countering foreign interference, addresses a significant gap in our legal framework by explicitly criminalizing acts of sabotage against essential infrastructure, including the telecommunications network equipment that Canadians rely on to stay connected.

As a national organization representing Canadian telecommunications service providers, the Canadian Telecommunications Association commends this initial step, but emphasizes that more work still needs to be done. While Bill C-70 addresses acts of sabotage that are intended to endanger the safety, security or defence of Canada, it does not address the rapidly increasing frequency of vandalism and theft that are disrupting telecommunications services in communities across the country.

Whether it is stealing copper wires for resale as scrap metal, or deliberate attempts to damage telecommunications equipment, this rise in incidents of vandalism and theft demands further action. These acts cause major disruptions to affected Canadians and can have a serious impact on public health and safety.

“Telecommunications networks are the lifelines connecting communities, businesses, and emergency services. Just as we cannot afford disruptions due to sabotage, Canadians’ safety should not be put at risk because of acts of theft and vandalism,” said Canadian Telecommunications Association President and CEO, Robert Ghiz. “Network operators are spending more to increase security and protect their network infrastructure, but this alone will not halt these destructive acts. Strengthening the Criminal Code will send a clear message that these actions will not be tolerated.”

CT Bureau

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