The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is celebrating the federal government’s decision to halt the coming into force of the Private Right of Action provision of Canada’s anti-spam legislation that would have hurt Canadian businesses.
The PRA was particularly worrisome as it would have exposed business to potentially unjust and costly litigation. The Private Right of Action Provision would have allowed individuals to take legal action against any company which sent them an email they did not want to receive, without proof of damages.
“This is a big win for all Canadians. Businesses rely on their capacity to communicate with their clients, and some of these measures would have limited their capacity to do this,” said the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Chamber. “Additionally, this provision would cost Canadians heavily in lost productivity and mischievous litigation,” he added.
For years, the Chamber has lobbied on behalf of its members to convince the government to re-examine CASL’s damaging impact on Canadian business.
“We applaud the government’s decision. And we are very supportive of the decision to ask Parliament to undertake a full review of the law” Mr. Beatty added.
Follow-Up from the Government of Canada:
The Government of Canada is suspending the implementation of certain provisions in Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) in response to broad-based concerns raised by businesses, charities and the not-for-profit sector.
The provisions, known as private right of action, would have allowed lawsuits to be filed against individuals and organizations for alleged violations of the legislation.
The provisions were scheduled to come into force on July 1, 2017, but have now been suspended.
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.
“Canadians deserve to be protected from spam and other electronic threats so that they can have confidence in digital technology. At the same time, businesses, charities and other non-profit groups should have reasonable ways to communicate electronically with Canadians. We have listened to the concerns of stakeholders and are committed to striking the right balance.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
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