Lead Development

The Government of Canada has enacted new legislation regarding the sending of spam  for the purposes of managing the sending of unsolicited commercial electronic messages (CEMs). These new laws begin to come into effect on July 1st and will affect the ways that anyone can send email to solicit business. For a detailed outline of the new laws, drop by the government website and have a read.

What You Need to Know

When the law comes into effect, there are several key points that will affect the way you send email for the purpose of soliciting business. First, there are three requirements for sending CEMs: Consent, Identification Information and an Unsubscribe mechanism.


Canada's New Anti-spam LawsThere are two types of consent defined in the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation: implied and express. Implied consent exists where there is an existing business or non-business relationship that includes the sending of CEMs. There is a three-year window (ending in 2017) in which you must obtain express consent from your recipients and keep a record of that consent for as long as you send them CEMs. If anyone receiving your email under implied consent indicates that they no longer wish to receive it, the implied consent ceases and you must not send further CEMs until you receive express consent. Express consent is an indication from a CEM recipient that they wish to receive your CEMs. In order to qualify as express consent, you must obtain the consent in writing or orally but the onus is on the person sending the message to prove that express consent to send the message exists. The government has issued bulletins that show examples of how you may obtain express consent.


For the purposes of fulfilling your responsibilities under the new laws, you must provide the name in which you carry on business or your own name. You must also include the names of any other persons or businesses on whose behalf you are sending the CEM. You must also include a mailing address and either a phone number that gives access to an agent or to a voice messaging system, an email address or web address of the person sending the CEM or the person on whose behalf the message is being sent. In plain English, you need to include your name or business name, phone number and email or web address.

Unsubscribe Mechanism

All CEMs must include an unsubscribe mechanism. This can be a button in the email, a hyperlink to a web location pointing to a simple unsubscribe mechanism or a process of indicating the recipient's wishes in an email (like putting "unsubscribe" in the Subject line of an email back to you). Again, examples of acceptable unsubscribe mechanisms are included in a government bulletin located here.

There are other restrictions included in the legislation pertaining to computer programs. If they may apply to you, you are strongly advised to visit the site and spend some time going through the rules.

What are you doing to comply with the new laws? Give us your tips in the comments below.


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