Bill C-28 – Canada’s Anti-spam Law (PART 1)

The following post is the first in a series which will explain the eagerly anticipated Bill C-28 and what you need to do to conform.

On July 1, 2014, Canada’s new Anti-spam Law, contrived from Bill C-28, takes effect. What is this new law you say? It is a law to make all individuals and businesses conform to new rules about spamming.

“The basic prohibition contained in Canada’s Anti-spam Law is against sending a "commercial electronic message" , which includes all forms of electronic communication including e-mails, texts and instant messages as long as they encourage participation in a commercial activity, to customers, donors, members and others unless the recipient has consented to receiving the message.”1

How do I know if I am sending a “commercial electronic message”? This determination is made based upon the content of the message, hyperlinks to content on a website, or contact information contained in the electronic message. This can include an electronic message that:

“(a) offers to purchase, sell, barter or lease a product, goods, a service, land or an interest or right in land;

(b) offers to provide a business, investment or gaming opportunity;

(c) advertises or promotes anything referred to in paragraph (a) or (b); or

(d) promotes a person, including the public image of a person, as being a person who does anything referred to in any of paragraphs (a) to (c), or who intends to do so”2

The purpose of this new law is to put the onus on the sender of the email to have proof of consent from every email address on your list. Without proof of consent, you will be breaking the law. In case you fluff this off, the penalties are fines up to $1,000,000 for individuals per violation and up to $10,000,000 for businesses per violation. If 10 people file complaints to the CRTC about you spamming them, your business could face fines up to $100,000,000!

Coming up: PART 2 – Consent

1 Sharon E. Groom, McMillan LLP



Really great article, Craig -- I'll be watching out for part 2!