Reforming the law on foreign interference – Online public consultation

Reforming the law on foreign interference – Online public consultation

Current status: Closed

The online public consultation commenced on November 24, 2023 and closed to new input on February 2, 2024.

The Government of Canada is working to strengthen and enhance the measures in place and bolster defences against foreign interference (FI). “Foreign Interference” refers to when foreign states, or those acting on their behalf, undertake activities that threaten people in Canada, their families elsewhere, or activities that are covert and deceptive, and are harmful to Canada’s national interests. A number of Canada's allies, including Australia and the United Kingdom, have all recently taken steps to enhance their ability to identify and counter foreign interference.

The Department of Justice Canada (Justice Canada) is consulting with the public about possible improvements to our laws to better protect people in Canada against the threats posed by FI.

Justice Canada welcomes your feedback until February 2, 2024.

The Government of Canada is considering possible changes to the Security of Information Act (SOIA) and ways to modernize certain Criminal Code offences. It is also considering whether to introduce a review mechanism in the Canada Evidence Act (CEA) for certain cases involving sensitive information.

This consultation will help inform decision-making on whether to pursue legislative reforms to address evolving FI threats. The key issues that are being considered for improvement are set out below. A more detailed description and explanation of these potential changes can be found within the consultation paper itself.

Potential changes to SOIA:

  • Whether to create new FI offences in the SOIA to address new types of emerging threats;
  • Whether to amend section 20 of the SOIA to make proving that offence (foreign-influenced or terrorist-influenced threats or violence) more straightforward; and
  • Whether to amend section 22 (preparatory acts offence) of the SOIA to increase the maximum penalty and to have it capture more threatening conduct by applying it to other offences.

Potential changes to the Criminal Code:

  • Whether to modernize Canada’s sabotage offence to reflect modern realities, and add Charter safeguards to the offence; and
  • Whether to introduce legislative reforms to address how national security information is protected and used in criminal proceedings.

Possible changes to the CEA:

  • Whether to create a general Secure Administrative Review Proceedings process under the CEA to govern the protection, disclosure, and use of national security information in judicial reviews and statutory appeals in the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal.
  • Whether to introduce legislative reforms to address how national security information is protected and used in criminal proceedings.

For further information on FI, visit Public Safety Canada’s Foreign Interference webpage.

How to participate in the online public consultation:

  1. Complete the online form: have your say on amending the SOIA, Criminal Code and CEA to address foreign interference threats by completing the online form.
  2. Submit your input: provide your written comments on the discussion paper by email to A printable version of the consultation paper is available here.

If you have any questions regarding the consultation please contact:

Protection of Privacy

Although your participation in this survey is voluntary, it is encouraged.

The personal information you provide is collected under the authority of the Department of Justice Act. Your personal information will be managed and administered in accordance with the Access to Information Act, the Privacy Act and any other applicable laws.

Please be aware that your individual responses, or responses provided on behalf of an organization, are being collected as part of a public consultation. Organizations that voluntarily provide their organization’s name could be identified. However, the names of individuals and organizations are treated in a confidential manner. Personal information will be protected by the Privacy Act and will only be disclosed to the extent permitted by the Privacy Act.

Should you indicate that your comments, or any portions thereof, be considered confidential, all reasonable efforts will be made to protect this information.

The information you choose to provide will be managed in accordance with the Personal Information BanksOutreach Activities PSU 938. The Privacy Act gives you the right of access to your personal information and if you choose to do so, please contact the Department’s ATIP office at

If you are not satisfied with JUS's response to your privacy concern, you have the right to file a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner of Canada regarding the institution’s handling of your personal information.

Learn more about the SOIA, the Criminal Code, and the CEA: