Stress Tested

The COVID-19 Pandemic and Canadian National Security

Table of contents

Amarnath Amarasingam, Thomas Juneau and Leah West

Part 1: Threats

They Got it All Under Control: Fringe Conspiracy Theories and Threats to Canadian National Security
Marc-Andre Argentino and Amarnath Amarasingam

Exploiting Chaos: How Malicious Non-State Actors Leverage COVID-19 to their Advantage in Cyberspace
Casey Babb and Alex Wilner

Supply Chains During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Stephanie Carvin, Edie Brenning, Djomeni Raphael Desire, Walid Elgazzar, Habab Elkhalifa, Annie Huang, Ilia Nizenko, Richard Oum, Rafael Pozuelo-Perron, Raman Singh, Randall Whiteside, Erin van Weerdhuizen, Randall Whiteside, Anisha Yogalingam

Getting the Politics of Protecting Critical Infrastructure Right Bessma Momani and Jean-François Bélanger

Part II: The Responses

A Health Intelligence Priority for Canada? Costs, Benefits, and Considerations
Jessica Davis and Alexander Corbeil

National Security and Intelligence Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Stephanie Carvin

Collection and Protection in the Time of Infection: The Communications Security Establishment During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Bill Robinson

Corona as Constraint on the CAF?: As Always, the Mission Matters
Stephen M. Saideman, Stéfanie von Hlatky, and Graeme Hopkins

Defence Intelligence and COVID-19
Jim Cox

Reviving the Role of GPHIN in Global Epidemic Intelligence
Kelley Lee and Julianne Piper

Privacy vs. Health: Surveillance to Stop the Spread?
Leah West

Enforcing Canadian Security Laws through Criminal Prosecution During a Pandemic?: Lessons from Canada’s COVID-19 Experience
Michael Nesbitt and Tara Hansen

National Security Lessons Regarding the Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on Migrant and Refugee Communities in the U.S. and Canada: A Bilateral Approach
Adham Shaloul and Diana Rayes

Untangling deportation law from national security: the pandemic invites a softer touch
Simon Wallace

Thomas Juneau


The emergence of COVID-19 has raised urgent and important questions about the role of Canadian intelligence and national security within a global health crisis. Some argue that the effects of COVID-19 on Canada represent an intelligence failure, or a failure of early warning. Others argue that the role of intelligence and national security in matters of health is—and should remain—limited. At the same time, traditional security threats have rapidly evolved, themselves impacted and influenced by the global pandemic.

Stress Tested brings together leading experts to examine the role of Canada’s national security and intelligence community in anticipating, responding to, and managing a global public welfare emergency. This interdisciplinary collection offers a clear-eyed view of successes, failures, and lessons learned in Canada’s pandemic response.

Addressing topics including supply chain disruptions, infrastructure security, the ethics of surveillance within the context of pandemic response, the threats and potential threats of digital misinformation and fringe beliefs, and the challenges of maintaining security and intelligence operations during an ongoing pandemic, Stress Tested is essential reading for anyone interested in the lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.


This book is important, and worth reading, for its assessment of COVID-19 on national security.

- Kurt F. Jensen, Intelligence and National Security