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Revised Investment Canada Act Guidelines Broaden National Security Focus on Foreign Investments II

See Chinese version below [中文版参阅下文]

New National Security Factors - 新的国家安全考量因素

The Revised Guidelines added “critical minerals and critical mineral supply chains” and “sensitive personal data” to the list of non-exhaustive factors that will be considered by the government in applying the ICA’s national security powers.


More specifically, the Revised Guidelines now clarify that foreign investment in relation to the 31 minerals included in Canada’s recently released critical minerals list may be subject to greater national security scrutiny. The minerals included in this list are considered: (i) essential to Canada’s economic security, (ii) required for Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy, and (iii) a sustainable source of critical minerals for Canada’s trading partners, including the U.S., the European Union and Japan, which have previously established their own lists of critical minerals.

更具体地说,国家安全指南现在阐明,与加拿大最近发布的关键矿物质清单中的31种矿物质有关的外国投资可能会受到更严格的国家安全审查。 该清单中包括的矿物被认为:(i)对加拿大的经济安全至关重要,(ii)是加拿大向低碳经济过渡所必需的,以及(iii)是加拿大的贸易伙伴(包括美国,欧盟和日本,其之前已经各自建立了重要矿物质清单)的关键矿物的可持续来源。

The publication of Canada’s list follows the Canada - U.S. Joint Action Plan on Critical Minerals Collaboration, a bilateral initiative which aims at developing reliable and integrated North American supply chains for critical minerals. The Canadian critical minerals list is not, however, identical to the U.S.’ list of critical minerals; most notably, copper, nickel and zinc are included in the Canadian list, but are not included in the U.S. list.

加拿大名单的发布是根据加拿大-美国关键矿产合作联合行动计划制定的,这是一项双边倡议,旨在发展可靠和综合的北美关键矿产供应链。 但是,加拿大的关键矿物质清单与美国的关键矿物质清单不同; 最值得注意的是,铜,镍和锌已包含在加拿大清单中,但未包含在美国清单中。

With respect to “sensitive personal data”, the illustrative examples of data provided in the Revised Guidelines are: (i) personally identifiable health or genetic; (ii) biometric; (iii) financial; (iv) communications; (v) geolocation; and (vi) personal data concerning government officials. These types of sensitive personal data, largely track those in the definition of “sensitive personal data” contained in rules under the U.S. national security legislation (“CFIUS Rules”). However, the U.S. definition is far more detailed and set outs out other considerations (e.g., regarding the number of people whose data is maintained or collected).

关于“敏感的个人数据”,经国家安全指南中提供的数据示例包括:(i)个人可识别的健康或基因信息 (ii)生物特征数据; (iii)财务信息; (iv)通讯信息; (v)地理位置; (vi)有关政府官员的个人数据。 这些类型的敏感个人数据在很大程度上与美国国家安全法规(“ CFIUS规则”)中的规则所包含的“敏感个人数据”的定义看齐。 但是,美国的定义要详尽得多,并列出了其他注意事项(例如,有关被收集数据的人数)。

Existing National Security Factors - 现有的国家安全考量因素

The Revised Guidelines provide additional information on the following factors that were already set out in the prior version:


  • Defence: Unsurprisingly, examples of “defence capabilities and interests” now include “the defence industrial base and defence establishments”, which makes clear that non-governmental defence businesses are caught.


  • Sensitive Technology: “Sensitive technology” is defined to include technologies that have military, intelligence or dual military/civilian applications. In addition, a new annex to the Revised Guidelines, which may be periodically adjusted, sets out a non-comprehensive list of sensitive technologies, such as advanced manufacturing, advanced surveillance, aerospace, biotechnology, medical, artificial intelligence, next generation computing, energy, robotics and space. The CFIUS Rules in the U.S. are more prescriptive in terms of what constitutes critical technology, but, for example, certain defence products, agents and toxins, as well as emerging and foundational technologies are included.

敏感技术:“敏感技术”的定义包括具有军事、情报或军事/民用双重用途的技术。 此外,国家安全指南的新附件可能会定期进行调整,其中列出了某些敏感技术,例如先进制造、先进监视、航空航天、生物技术、医疗、人工智能、下一代计算、能源 、机器人技术和太空。 美国的CFIUS规则对关键技术的构成有更严格的规定,但例如,某些国防产品、药剂和毒素以及新兴的基础技术也包括在内。

  • Critical Infrastructure: This factor already made reference to “assets and services essential to the health, safety, security or economic well-being of Canadians”, but now explicitly includes reference to Canada’s National Strategy for Critical Infrastructure and Action Plan for Critical Infrastructure. This document sets out 10 critical sectors: (i) energy and utilities, (ii) finance, (iii) food, (iv) transportation, (v) government, (vi) information and communication technology, (vii) health, (viii) water, (ix) safety, and (x) manufacturing. In the U.S., the CFIUS Rules set out 28 specific types of critical infrastructure that fall within most of the broader Canadian critical sectors.

基础重要设施:该因素已经提到“对加拿大人的健康、安全、保障或经济福祉至关重要的资产和服务”,但现在明确包括了加拿大的《重要基础设施国家战略》和《重要基础设施行动计划》。 本文件列出了10个重要领域:(i)能源和公用事业,(ii)金融,(iii)食品,(iv)运输,(v)政府,(vi)信息和通信技术,(vii)卫生,(viii) )水,(ix)安全和(x)制造。 在美国,CFIUS规则规定了28种特定类型的重要基础架构,这些基础架构属于加拿大大多数重要行业中的大多数。

  • Illicit Actors: The focus on terrorists and organized crime has been expanded to include corrupt foreign officials.


In addition, the COVID-19 policy highlighted investments related to “public health” and “critical good and services”, factors which were already captured in the prior iteration of the Revised Guidelines, but which are now of particular focus due to the pandemic.


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The number of national security reviews has been increasing due to COVID-19 and the geopolitical climate, a trend we expect will continue. In this context, the Revised Guidelines, which do not have the force of law, provide more transparency on the government’s national security assessment criteria in practice and generally align with the approaches taken in other jurisdictions.

由于COVID-19和政治气候,国家安全审查的次数一直在增加,我们预计这一趋势将继续下去。 在这种情况下,没有法律效力的国家安全指南在实践中为政府的国家安全评估标准提供了更高的透明度,并且通常与其他司法管辖区所采用的方法保持一致。

For more information on the Revised Guidelines or any other ICA topic, please consult our Competition/Antitrust & Foreign Investment Group.




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