Industry Minister hosts invite-only CASL roundtable

With Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation being given Royal Assent in 2010 and still not being enforced as the regulations are worked out, it could be understandable if some businesses think of CASL as more of a myth than an inevitable reality.

Perhaps that’s why Michael Geist calls on the faux mythology of Festivus to relate recent developments about the anti-spam legislation in his latest blog post. But while Festivus isn’t real, the invitation-only roundtable hosted by Industry Minister James Moore really did happen. After the government conducted a consultation on CASL earlier this year, we’ve heard very little about the legislation that promises to stop businesses from sending commercial e-mails without consent from the recipient. It’s been shrouded in mystery to the degree that we’re not even sure if it will start being enforced this year, or next year.

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Geist says the roundtable was attended by representative on both sides of the debate – those who want more exceptions built into the legislation to make it more lenient on e-mail senders, and those who advocated for CASL and a quick finalization of regulations.

But Geist’s comments made at the roundtable, shared in full on his blog, indicate some hope to derail the legislation entirely. “There should be no room for debate on whether the legislation should be brought into force. The only question should involved the regulations associated with the legislation,” he writes.

Among those expressing concerns with the legislation are the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Information Technology Association of Canada.

Perhaps the best point that Geist makes in his comments is that for all the fretting businesses are doing over the new law, it only requires them to gain permission once to market whatever they like. It’s already a good practice for businesses to be sending messages to only those who are interested in hearing from them. After all, why would you want to e-mail a promotion to someone who’s not voiced some interest in seeing it?


Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson
Editorial director of IT World Canada. Covering technology as it applies to business users. Multiple COPA award winner and now judge. Paddles a canoe as much as possible.

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