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Canada hits the pause button on CASL's Private Right of Action

June 8, 2017

The Government of Canada has suspended the private right of action that was expected to come into force under Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL) on July 1, 2017. The private right of action, had it come into force, would have allowed individuals who alleged they had been affected by a contravention of the law to bring an action seeking their actual loss or damages, and a penalty of $200 for each contravention, not to exceed $1 million for any day on which a contravention took place. Its suspension will come as welcome news to businesses, many of which were concerned with the specter of CASL related class action law suits.

In announcing the suspension, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada stated that the Government would be asking a parliamentary committee to review CASL, albeit in keeping with its existing provisions.

While this decision removes the immediate concern of CASL related class actions, businesses should note that CASL remains in force, and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) may seek to enforce it via an administrative monetary penalty of up to $10 million.  It is currently uncertain whether the private right of action will be brought into force at a later date.

The Government’s announcement may be found here


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