Skip to Main Content

Should trade unions worry about Canada’s new anti-spam legislation?

May 24, 2014

Will Canada’s new anti-spam legislation, which comes into effect on July 1st, affect you?

In December 2010, Canada passed what may be the most sweeping anti-spam legislation in the world. Unofficially known as “Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation”, since its real name is too long for most of us to remember, CASL comes into effect on July 1, 2014.

The Act regulates the sending of “commercial electronic messages”, and broadly defines the “commercial” messages that may be caught by the Act.  Determining how the Act will be interpreted and applied, and how the Act’s vaguely drafted exceptions may apply, is difficult to predict. But the penalties for breaching the Act are high and many unions and other non-profit organizations are wondering how the Act may apply to them.

Here is our summary and analysis of CASL, as it may be interpreted and applied to trade unions.


Vanessa Payne, Ethan Poskanzer