Canada's new anti-spam law

Istock 000002608363xsmallThis guest blog post is provided by the Office of Consumer Affairs, which promotes the interests and protection of Canadian consumers.

Canada's new anti-spam legislation will help to protect Canadians while ensuring that businesses can continue to compete in the global marketplace. It aims to increase consumer confidence in electronic commerce by protecting Canadian consumers and businesses from unwanted spam and related threats. Passed December 2010, this new law will enter into force following a Governor in Council order.

On July 9, 2011, regulations pursuant to Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation were pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for a 60-day consultation period. On June 30, 2011, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) called for comments on its proposed regulations under the Act.

Who needs to know about this law?

Anyone who:

What is covered under the law?

When the new law is in force, it will prohibit the:

What does it mean for you?

Businesses and organizations need to get ready for the new law. Visit to find out how to comment on the draft regulations and learn more about Canada's new anti-spam law.


Posted by Scott on September 7, 2011
What are the acceptable forms of consent under this law? Is verbal consent considered permission?
Posted by Canada Business Network on October 12, 2011
Hi Scott,

What are the acceptable forms of consent under this law?

The legislation stipulates that express consent is required except in certain defined circumstances where consent is implied. These circumstances are limited to the sending of commercial electronic messages (CEMs) where the sender and the recipient in an 'existing business relationships' or an 'existing non-business relationship' as defined in the Act. Also, the legislation provides that consent is implied with respect to the sending of CEMs for the first 3 years of the legislation or until consent is withdrawn, whichever is earlier.

Is verbal consent considered permission?

As part of its draft regulations, the CRTC proposed for public comment that consent cannot be requested orally but must done 'in writing'. The CRTC is currently examining this proposed requirement in light of the comments received prior to finalizing the regulations. Regardless of the outcome, the legislation stipulates that the person who alleges that they have the necessary consent has the onus of proving such consent.

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