Canadian Government Puts Private Right of Action Under CASL on Hold

On June 7, the Federal Government announced that it has suspended the private right of action under Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), which was scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2017. This development is a relief to many businesses and organizations that use email to keep in touch with their Canadian customers.

As we have previously written, under the private right of action, individuals and corporations could be sued by anyone alleging to have been “affected” by an act or omission that violates CASL. Applicants could seek actual and statutory damages, which, in some cases could total up to $1 million per day. While this suspension removes the risk of litigation against such businesses in the foreseeable future, the matter is not yet closed. The government has stated that it intends to ask a parliamentary committee to review the legislation. The government’s announcement does not specify if or when the private right of action will come into force in the future.