Find out how the new Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation affects your business

Edmonton Graphic Design | Spam Regulations

The first thing you should know about the new “anti-spam” legislation is that it is not about spam – it is about you and your business, and it matters a whole lot. A failure to understand this point before the law comes into force can put you and your business at serious risk.

What does the law cover and how does it impact your business?

The CASL law requires that businesses only send email to recipients under certain situations to avoid being classified by the law as “spam”. Businesses require consent before sending a commercial electronic message:

  • Express consent – person has given explicit permission to communicate via email for the specific purpose (e.g. email newsletter)
  • Implied consent:
  1. Existing business relationship – someone has made a purchase within the last 24 months or an inquiry into your company’s products/services within the last 6 months.
  2. Existing non-business relationship – someone who has been involved in contributing in some way e.g. volunteer or donations.
  3. Conspicuously published electronic address – someone whose email is public on a website, directory etc.- the message that is allowed to be sent must be related to the person’s published business capacity.
  4. Provided email address to the sender.
  • Sender and company must be fully identified in the communication e.g. business address – to confirm the company the receiver would be dealing with is a “real” company”.
  • Unsubscribe option on each electronic communication.

What does that all mean

Overall, CASL is a good thing. It’s encouraging people to document and gain proper consent from the people they’re emailing, which is something we’re always happy to see.

But like many good things, the intention doesn’t immediately line up with the result. Some argue the law is actually causing more spam right now, because people are trying to send messages to whoever they can before July 1. But if you don’t have documented express consent for everyone on your list on July 1, it’s OK. There’s a 3 year transitional period contemplated by CASL, during which you can still contact individuals from whom you had implied consent (for example, they bought a product). But you can’t contact any new individuals without consent.

For more details on CASL visit the Government of Canada’s info site at

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