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June 8, 2017

CASL’s private right of action suspended

By Paul K. Grower 

Further to our recent newsletter, the Government of Canada just announced on June 7 that it is suspending—for the present time—the private rights of action/private damage claims that were to come into effect on July 1, 2017.

The Government’s news release stated, in part:

Canadians deserve an effective law that protects them from spam and other electronic threats that lead to harassment, identity theft and fraud. At the same time, Canadian businesses, charities and non-profit groups should not have to bear the burden of unnecessary red tape and costs to comply with the legislation. 

The Government supports a balanced approach that protects the interests of consumers while eliminating any unintended consequences for organizations that have legitimate reasons for communicating electronically with Canadians. 

For that reason, the Government will ask a parliamentary committee to review the legislation, in keeping with the existing provisions of CASL.

While this suspension will be welcomed by many businesses, it must be noted that the government regulators continue to have the ability to enforce the provisions of CASL and the Competition Act as they presently exist and were outlined in our articles, below.  As such, businesses should continue to review their procedures to ensure that they remain in compliance with the law.

Paul K. Grower is a partner with Fillmore Riley LLP who practises primarily in the areas of taxation litigation, privacy law, and general commercial litigation. You can reach him at (204) 957 8369 or