Industry Canada’s Foot Dragging Continues to Delay Anti-Spam Law


Many people in Canada are upset that the country’s tough anti-spam law still has not been
put into effect two years after it was passed. The blame lies with Industry Canada, the government department in charge of economic development. They have been dragging their feet on their draft regulations, which began in 2011. They claim they are finally preparing their second set which will require public consultation. Because of this, the law may not go into effect until 2014.

“I think that this demonstrates that the Conservative government doesn’t take privacy issues seriously,” said NDP MP Charmaine Borg, who notes that another piece of legislation, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act that also governs the Privacy Commissioner’s Office, is overdue for a review by Parliament.”So we’re seeing this constant lateness and meanwhile technology continues to evolve and there’s new threats that are posed and citizens are more and more concerned about their privacy online.”

And why has Industry Canada been fussing with their regulations for over 2 years now? They haven’t given any real explanation or apology, but the most likely reason is the pressure they are receiving from Canadian businesses. Not surprisingly, they are balking at the new law, which is tougher than the US’s CAN-SPAM, and have been demanding all kinds of changes and making loud complaints. They don’t like the law and don’t want to comply. Two plus years is long enough though. Industry Canada needs to stop the foot dragging and just get it done. The taxpayers are waiting and have waited long enough.


Written by Sue Walsh


  1. Maria Ortiz · January 4, 2013

    If I’m correct, I read somewhere that the Canadian version of the anti-spam law had some serious controversial provisions that would outlaw many more activities than US laws. Maybe this is one more reason for a delay – these matters need to be discussed thoroughly and carefully thought of in advance.

  2. Vincent Law · January 28, 2013

    You are right there, Maria. What worries me, though, is that it’s been two years already. I think that’s more than enough time to compromise, settle the differences among provisions, and please as many people as possible. And the fact that the main complainants are businesses seems to mean that something is really fishy. Is it really true that marketers these days are becoming spammers as well? I can’t help to think that most Canadian Internet users are right. Their government just don’t exert a lot of effort to put more value on privacy.

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