CASL, Canada’s new anti-spam legislation

Starting July 1st, 2014 Canada’s new anti-spam legislation (CASL) comes into effect. This new law drastically changes the landscape of commercial email in Canada.

Beginning July 1st, you must have the following with every email you send to your clients, without it your company could face fines up to $10 million.

Express or Implied consent

No more defaulting to checked boxes for newsletter signups.

No more defaulting to checked boxes for newsletter signups.

Until July 1st, 2017 you have implied consent from anyone that you have an existing business relationship with. Going forward you must obtain express consent from all your email contacts, both existing and new.

Express consent means that the recipient has explicitly opted-in to your mailing list. What this means is that you can no longer default the newsletter checkbox on your forms to checked, or add recipients to your mailing list if they’ve emailed you with a sales question. They must actively agree to receive your electronic communications, typically this will mean that they must now click on an empty checkbox.


Your emails must include your businesses address, as well as a phone number or email.

Unsubscibe Mechanism

There must be a clear mechanism for unsubscribing from the mailing list in every email you send.

If you’re using a third-party service like MailChimp or Constant Contact, then identification and unsubscribing are already handled for you.

What are the penalities?

This is an anti-spam law with some financial bite. Individuals can be fined up to $1 million, and corporations up to $10 million. The receivers of the email can also sue you for $200 for each unsolicited email that they receive.

What can I learn more?

Here are some helpful resources