Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation “(CASL)” was proclaimed in force on 1 July 2014. With some exceptions and exemptions, CASL prohibits sending commercial electronic messages without the consent of the recipient. There is the potential for very heavy penalties in the event of non-compliance, such that we must be extremely cautious with this new law.

CASL is very complicated, and new. This means that there are many challenges of interpretation, and no one is perfectly sure what CASL will mean in practice. Suffice it to say at the moment that there is no general exemption for universities – it is likely that, if the university (or someone on the university’s behalf) sends a commercial electronic message without first obtaining the consent of the recipient, then CASL has been violated (unless one of the many exceptions and exemptions applies).

Through this web page, Legal and Immigration Services provides some standard information to guide faculty and staff in compliance with CASL. 

Information is provided below through a series of questions and answers. Click on each question to reveal the answer. 

Please note that this web page is providing general advice only and is not intended to substitute for actual legal advice in particular circumstances. Further, each of the answers given below is a short form response, whereas the actual legal provisions from which the answers are drawn are extensive and complicated.

If you have any doubt about a message you are planning to send, please contact Yanick Charbonneau, Manager and Immigration Counsel, at and he will provide advice.