Ensuring Democracy while Protecting Canadian National Security

Reimagining a Canadian National Security Strategy Report No. 1

October 4, 2021

Protecting national security while also respecting equality, liberty and privacy rights is a delicate balance for democratic countries. This report looks at how to address threats to Canada’s national security without sacrificing Canadians’ civil liberties and the principles of Canadian democracy, including respect for parliamentary governance and electoral majorities, the rule of law and the rights of Indigenous peoples and minorities. The author examines three threats to both Canada’s democracy and national security: threats to elections, threats posed by online disinformation and misinformation, and threats by foreign conflicts against Canada’s immigrant-reliant population. The report concludes with a series of recommendations to help mitigate these threats.

This thematic report is part of the Reimagining a Canadian National Security Strategy project. A special report by the project’s co-directors analyzes Canada’s new national security outlook and proposes a security strategy for Canada.

About the Author

Kent Roach is professor of law at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.