CFIB applauds government for shelving anti-spam lawsuits




Toronto – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has commended the federal government for indefinitely suspending implementation of the private right of action provision of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, a provision the federation said would have had harmful consequences on small business. The provision, which had been scheduled to come into force on July 1, 2017, would have allowed consumers or organizations to sue businesses they believed were not complying with anti-spam rules, the CFIB said in a news release. In addition to suspending implementation, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains has referred the matter to the Industry Committee, where it could be struck down permanently. “We are very grateful to Minister Bains for recognizing the impact this provision could have had on limiting innovation and customer relationships for small businesses across Canada, and for not putting Canadian businesses at a competitive disadvantage,” said Dan Kelly, president of CFIB. “This measure will help address some of the red tape headaches the legislation has presented to Canadian small firms.” CFIB sent a letter to Minister Bains last month urging the government to reconsider the private right of action clause. The legislation, known as CASL, came into force in 2014, imposing penalties on spammers, but also affecting tens of thousands of legitimate businesses that were using email and other electronic means to stay in touch with customers. The original law has led to a small handful of charges and fines, but also headaches and thousands of dollars in costs for businesses that have had to transform their business processes and systems.CFIB is working to help small businesses understand and comply with anti-spam rules. For businesses that want to make sure that their electronic marketing campaigns comply with CASL, CFIB has partnered with Cyberimpact, a Canadian firm which specializes in e-marketing, to give them the resources they need. “Despite the suspension of the private right of action, small businesses still need to comply with CASL, and we hope this change will serve as a reminder,” said Jean-Francis Lalonde, president of Cyberimpact. To find out more about upcoming CASL webinars or to learnyou’re your business can deliver effective campaigns that comply with CASL, visit