CASL’s provision for private right to action has been delayed indefinitely by the Government of Canada.
The provision—for lawsuits to be filed against individuals and organizations for alleged violations of the legislation—was scheduled to be implemented this July 2017 when Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) comes into full force.
The government suspended the provision in an announcement yesterday, citing “broad-based concerns raised by businesses, charities and the not-for-profit sector” about, in effect, allowing CASL class action suits with a very low burden of proof. Many feared the provision would put a chill on e-communications, particularly e-commerce, newsletters and transactional messages, and could have a disproportionate impact on magazine publishers and subscription-media companies. For the past few years, Magazines Canada has been a supporting member of a coalition seeking clarity on CASL in a number of areas, including the limits of the private right of action provision.