Revised draft Anti-Spam Regulations out for consultation

On January 4, 2013, the Government of Canada published revised draft regulations related to its anti-spam legislation passed in 2010 (Bill C-28). The legislation, which governs electronic communications for commercial purposes, has been controversial due to the wide net it casts over business-related electronic communications. Concerns by stakeholders, particularly the business community, about the proposed regulation of Commercial Electronic Messages have resulted in the government delaying proclamation of the legislation and, consequently, its coming into law.

The revised draft Electronic Commerce Protection Regulations represent a significant shift from the version that went out for consultation in the summer of 2011, likely as a result of concerns that the sweeping scope of the legislation and the original draft regulations were unworkable, impractical, and captured a broad array of communications activities that would not be considered as "spam" to most Canadians. The Minister of Industry appears to have taken the criticism to heart, as the revised regulations that go some way to narrowing the scope of application of the legislation.

The draft regulations are out for consultation until February 4 and can be viewed, along with a plain text description outlining their intent, at the following location

Comments related to the regulations must be addressed to:

Bruce Wallace,
Director, Security and Privacy Policy, Digital Policy Branch, Department of Industry
Jean Edmonds Tower North 
18th Floor, Room 1891D 
300 Slater St. 
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0C8
Tel.: 613-949-4759
Fax: 613-941-1164

When responding, respondants should cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the January 5th date of publication.

With the publication of these revised draft regulations, we are one step closer to the government’s anti-spam legislation coming into effect. That being said, we do not expect the new regulations and the legislation to come into force until late in 2013 at the earliest.