Win for Business: Suspension of Unfair Provision in Anti-Spam Legislation

The Surrey Board of Trade is celebrating the federal government’s decision to halt the coming into force of the Private Right of Action (PRA) provision of Canada’s anti-spam legislation 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 Surrey businesses. Businesses rely on their capacity to communicate with their clients, and some of these measures would have limited their capacity to do this,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “Additionally, this provision would cost Canadians heavily in lost productivity and mischievous litigation.”

The Surrey Board of Trade and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce network have been speaking to the different levels of 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” said Huberman.

Additional information about CASL and the Private Right of Action Provision:CASL regulates the flow of e-commerce 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 1st 2017