CASL: Private Right of Action Suspended

Thought Leadership

What it means for you, the marketer

With just a couple of weeks before the next major CASL provisions come into effect, there has been a significant development that all Canadian marketers need to know.

The Canadian government has announced the suspension of the Private Right of Action provision (section 47 of the Anti-Spam Legislation). The Private Right of Action provision allowed businesses and individuals to le law suits against other business and individuals if they feel the provisions of CASL have been violated.

"Canadians deserve be protected from spam and other electronic threats so that they can have confidence in digital technology. At the same time, business, charities and other non-profit groups should have reasonable ways to communicate electronically with Canadians. We have listened to the concerns of stakeholders and are committed to striking the right balance."
The Honourable Navdeep Bains,
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development”

What does this mean for you?

As news of this announcement begins to circulate, so have a number of posts with incorrect interpretations. The most extreme stating that CASL has been suspended indefinitely. This is not true!

Here are the 3 things that you need to know:

  • Only the PRA provision has been suspended. Other provisions that are scheduled to go into effect will still be brought in.
  • What hasn't changed is the expiry of express consent. Let's talk a little bit about what that means as the July 1 deadline is fast approaching. When CASL was first put in to place, marketers were given 3 years to obtain renewed express consent from their existing recipient base. Businesses are still held to this requirement, although without private right of action, there will certainly be fewer legal cases arguing it. Kudos to the CRTC and other governing bodies of CASL to recognize the potential quagmire that was coming with the Private Right of Action and taking the appropriate steps to ensure that both consumers and businesses are being treated fairly.
  • As a marketer you are still held as responsible as ever when it comes to ensuring you have the appropriate consent to send marketing communications, and that your CEMs (Commercial Electronic Messages) meet all of the stipulations of CASL.

To learn more about CASL, we recommend visiting the government’s official website:

For more information on CASL best practices and how you can leverage CASL into your marketing programs, contact us at Relation1 at

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