Reimagining a Canadian National Security Strategy

Special Report

December 6, 2021

This CIGI special report is a “cri de cœur” arguing for a new approach to national security strategy and honest, transparent engagement with the reality of the threats we face as a country. It outlines the key threats that we now confront: a vastly altered geopolitical environment with the rising power of China at its core, ongoing and future pandemic threats, climate change security impacts, uncontrolled technological change and the undermining of economic security. Meeting these threats requires a sovereign, made-in-Canada response that protects Canada’s democracy and national interest and that operates within an environment of informed public understanding. Canada must pivot to face looming global threats and can and must do so from a position of knowledge and strength. This special report is the culmination of a project unprecedented in scale and scope in Canada. Beginning in the fall of 2020, CIGI set out to mobilize a large and diverse set of Canadian and international experts to examine Canada’s national security landscape. The CIGI project, Reimagining a Canadian National Security Strategy, features the publication of this capstone report, authored by the project’s co-directors, alongside thematic reports allowing for deeper dives into critical, present-day national security issues. This report makes a series of key policy recommendations to assist the Government of Canada in addressing the challenges of a new security environment.

About the Authors

Aaron Shull is the managing director and general counsel at CIGI. He is a senior legal executive and is recognized as a leading expert on complex issues at the intersection of public policy, emerging technology, cybersecurity, privacy and data protection.

Wesley Wark is a CIGI senior fellow.