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We're very concerned about new “anti-spam” rules the federal government announced two weeks ago. Canadian anti-spam legislation and the corresponding regulations have taken a “ban-all” approach to regulating commercial electronic messages (CEMs). All emails, SMS texts, social media sent in a commercial context are captured. The legislation will obligate the sender to obtain consent from the receiver prior to sending a CEM. That consent may not be obtained by sending a CEM. The definitions for consent are quite specific and are more demanding than existing privacy legislation.

The broad scope of CASL means that it will impact every single business, association, club, charitable organization and foundation that conducts activities in Canada. Without significant modifications and exceptions, this legislation will impede commercial speech, an essential ingredient of market competitiveness and lead to reduced competition and higher prices. Ultimately, this legislation and the regulations in their current form will not solve the problem of nuisance/fraudulent messages or of nuisance/malicious software, which are generally initiated outside the jurisdictional reach of the CRTC, the agency tasked with enforcement of the CASL.

We’re calling on all Canadian businesses to voice their concern about the impact this legislation will have on their competitiveness. Find out how you can get involved.

We’ve also developed a backgrounder that will help you craft your messages to MPs and Industry Canada.