We previously wrote about the potential impact of the private right of action provisions of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). These provisions were scheduled to come into force on July 1, 2017.
The Government of Canada has now indefinitely suspended the coming into force of these provisions through an Order in Council.
The Order in Council notes that the delay is “to promote legal certainty for numerous stakeholders claiming to experience difficulties in interpreting several provisions of the Act while being exposed to litigation risk.”
In a news release, the Government of Canada noted that the suspension was in response to broad-based concerns raised by businesses, charities and the not-for-profit sector. The news release indicates that, while Canadians deserve an effective law that protects them from spam and other electronic threats, Canadian businesses, charities and non-profit groups should not have to bear the burden of unnecessary red tape and costs to comply with the legislation. As a result, the Government of Canada is requesting a review of CASL by a parliamentary committee. The precise mandate of the proposed committee is not yet clear.
Although the coming into force of the private right of action provisions has been suspended, it is important to note that the remaining obligations for organizations continue to be in force.
In addition, the initial transition period for implied consent is still expected to end on July 1, 2017. You can learn more about your obligations under CASL by reading our earlier insights on this topic.
We will continue to watch these developments with interest given their significant impact on businesses, charities and non-profits. Organizations impacted by CASL may wish to consult with experienced legal counsel in order to minimize the risks associated with non-compliance with CASL.