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Ottawa, June 7, 2017 — The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is celebrating the federal government’s decision to halt the coming into force of the Private Right of Action provision (PRA) of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) that would have hurt Canadian businesses.

The PRA was particularly worrisome as it would have exposed business to potentially unjust and costly litigation. The Private Right of Action provision would have allowed individuals to take legal action against any company which sent them an email they did not want to receive, without proof of damages.

“This is a big win for all Canadians. Businesses rely on their capacity to communicate with their clients, and some of these measures would have limited their capacity to do this,” said the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Chamber. “Additionally, this provision would cost Canadians heavily in lost productivity and mischievous litigation,” he added.

For years, the Canadian Chamber has lobbied on behalf of its members to convince the government to re-examine CASL’s damaging impact on Canadian business.

“We applaud the government’s decision. And we are very supportive of the decision to ask Parliament to undertake a full review of the law,” Mr. Beatty added.

Additional information about CASL and the Private Right of Action provision:

  • CASL regulates the flow of ecommerce by requiring consent to send a commercial electronic message. However the law goes far beyond what most would consider to be spam and includes business-to-business messages.
  • Under the provisions, companies could be hit with $200 in statutory damages for each contravention, or perceived contravention, not exceeding $1,000,000 for each day.
  • While the balance of CASL remains in force, the PRA was not scheduled to come into force until July 1, 2017.

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The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 200,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions. Follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom.

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Contact:

Guillaum W. Dubreuil
Director, Public Affairs and Media Relations
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Mobile: 613.797.1860
gdubreuil@chamber.ca