CASL Warning! Private right of action is coming

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By Randy Marusyk and Lauren Blaiwais, March 27th, 2017

In 2014, Canada adopted an anti-spam law based on the opt-in model. Enforcement was predominantly the responsibility of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission; along with the Competition Bureau and Privacy Commissioner. However, as of July 1st, 2017, Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation* (CASL) will enable a private right of action. This means that individuals and organizations that are affected by a violation of sections 6-9 of CASL will have access to commencing an action before the courts. Additionally, claims may be brought for violations of section 74.011 of the Competition Act (false or misleading electronic messages) and sections 7.1(2) and (3) of PIPEDA (e-mail harvesting).

Sections 6 to 9 of CASL stipulate the restrictions for the emission of commercial electronic messages (CEMs). Unsolicited CEMs are prohibited unless the person to whom the message is sent has consented to receive it – consent may be express or implied. The message must comply with the prescribed requirements and must identify who sent the message; provide contact information to readily contact the person who sent the message, and include an unsubscribe mechanism.

The maximum statutory damages that the court may order for a contravention of s.6: $200 for each violation, up to $1 million/day; for ss. 7 and 8: $1 million/day that a contravention occurred; s.9: $1 million/contravention. As such, this is a call to businesses to ensure that your current consents, unsubscribe methods, electronic communication practices and marketing strategies are in order.

CASL Infograph3 ENG

taken from:


For more information please contact:

Randy Marusyk, Partner

T: 613.801.1088

E: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Lauren Blaiwais, Articling Student

T: 613.801.1057

E: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

* An Act to promote the efficiency and adaptability of the Canadian economy by regulating certain activities that dis courage reliance on electronic means of carrying out commercial activities, and to amend the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Act, the Competition Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the Telecommunications Act, SC 2010, c 23.

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