What you Need to Know About Canada’s New Anti-spam Law

What if you knew that sending an email to someone without their consent could cost you everything: your house, your car, all of your money and even your business? Would you still send that email? That’s exactly what could happen when Canada’s new anti-spam legislation, passed on December 10, comes into effect this July 1st.

Canada’s anti-spam legislation 

Canada’s new anti-spam legislation will drastically affect how many businesses generate new sales. The traditional sales model will change, and businesses that don’t keep up could cease to exist.

Sending an uninvited email to a Canadian email address could result in a $1 million dollar fine.

Businesses are scrambling to implement changes to ensure they are compliant with the new legislation. Those that are unable to make amendments to their current technology will suffer, since “A lot of small businesses… can’t amend their technology in time” to meet the July 1st deadline, says Toronto lawyer Kathryn Frelick.

The legislation is designed to protect Canadians from being inundated with spam, both in their email, social media accounts and via text on their smartphones.

International companies doing business out of Canada should also take note. If the spam is sent from a computer in Canada, it’s bound by the same legislation.

Companies outside of Canada that send spam to Canadians may also suffer financially due to substantial multi-jurisdictional agreements and international cooperation.


The penalties for infringing parties are extreme. Individuals could pay up to $1 million dollars and companies up to $10 million.

The law will initially be enforced by three government agencies including the Competition Bureau, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission and the office of the privacy commission.

The situation might cause a fury of litigation after July 1, 2017, when any individual who receives spam could take private legal action against infringers.

Getting consent

Oral or written consent is necessary and must be obtained by the individual. In incidences where a person is sending an electronic message on behalf of an individual or group of individuals, they must be listed in the message.

Businesses are encouraged to keep records of whether consent was obtained, when it was obtained, why it was obtained and how it was obtained.

In the absence of consent, an individual’s spam folder would be less a cause for contention and more a potential cash cow.

Photo Source: Flickr

Share this post

Leave a Reply