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As of July 1, 2014, Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) will come into effect.  Are you ready?  Do you know what it is and how it will impact you?


I am not going to attempt to reproduce the entire interpretation of the legislation in this blog.  First, it would be the largest blog post in history and second, I am not a lawyer.  This blog post in not intended to be official advice on CASL but to give you a few things to start thinking about and to encourage you to find out how it will affect your organization.


CASL applies to any individual or organization in Canada who sends e-mails, texts, social media messages or any other form of electronic communications to a recipient, regardless of whether they are a business, consumer or individual.


You need consent:

In order to safely message people you need there consent.  There are 2 types of consent, express and implied. 


Implied consent may be time limited.  For example you have 6 months to follow up on a customer inquiry.


Express consent means you can continue to message the person until they request otherwise but it is an opt-in process.  This means they must agree to you emailing them.


What are the exceptions?

  • If you have a relationship with a business you can send messages if it concerns the activities of the business.
  • Message sent internally in a business that are related to the activities of the business are allow.
  • Messages related to legal obligation such as product recalls or to enforce a right are allowed.
  • Referrals and consumer inquires are allowed.
  • Canadian registered charities and political parties have limited exemptions for certain purposes.
  • You are allowed to send messages to personal and family relationships.
  • You can send messages to people who you have an existing non-business relationship.

What are the consequences?

  • Fines up to $10 million per violation for companies and up to $1 million per violation for individuals.
  • Liability on companies for violations of their employees and agents.
  • Corporate officers and directors can be help personally liable.
  • As of 2017, class action law suits will be allowed against violators.

For more information about the legislation please visit


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