As stated by our good friends in the email community earlier this month, the Private Right of Action (PRA) provision of the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) is indeed going to be delayed past the originally planned date of July 1, 2017.

What it means for email senders

Canada recently passed legislation known as CASL that helps enforce stronger standards on how marketers obtain and send promotional email messages to Canadian recipient addresses. The first milestone for CASL occurred in July 2014, when the legislation stated that the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) could take legal action against organizations that weren’t abiding by their law.

The new provision would have allowed private individuals to sue companies based on a piece of spam they’ve received.

The PRA was originally set to go into effect this July 1st, 2017. And as of that date forward, CASL stated that private Canadian citizens could pursue (aka sue) an organization that the citizen didn’t feel was abiding by CASL. We don’t know exactly why this provision has been delayed. Apparently, due to any number of concerns or complications around what that would involve, this date has been indefinitely delayed.

One item to be aware of that will still change as of July 1st is the expiration of the 3-year waiver on implied consent for Canadian email addresses collected prior to July 1, 2014. The full details of this portion can be found in Section 10(9). 

For more information on CASL, feel free to read some of the previous information we have published on this legislation to get familiar with what it entails: CASL FAQ and CASL checklists.

Keep sending wanted email

While this update may allow (both legitimate and spammy) marketers to relax a bit, one of the main tenets of the law still applies—always obtain proper consent prior to sending marketing mail. And, secondly, stop sending to unengaged recipients. Remember that consent to receive marketing messages isn’t indefinite.

Mailbox filters that control the placement of messages to any recipient (regardless of country of residency) are still alive and well. If anything, they are getting more strict. These filters (especially the big 4: Gmail, Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL) are always looking to hold that coveted inbox placement spot for senders who appear to be sending “wanted” mail.

The triggers that these filters look for can be traced all the way back to how an email address ends up on a marketer’s list. If the actions of the recipients show reason for the filters to believe the mail wasn’t originally requested or “wanted,” it will most likely end up in the spam folder or be blocked completely.

And, remember, although the Private Right of Action which allows citizens to pursue non-CASL compliant organizations isn’t moving forward, the CRTC is still able to enforce this legislation as they have since 2014. As always, it’s still our advice to be more than just “not illegal” and to pursue the goal of sending wanted mail that pleases both the recipients and the mailbox providers that control the placement of that message.

For more on CASL compliance, listen in on our CASL 101 webcast that breaks down everything you need to know about staying compliant. And if you’re wanting to dive into the details of your email program to make sure you’re more than just compliant, check our range of Expert Services, which can help you with everything from one time sends to ongoing consulting to ensure your email program is optimized for delivery–no matter where your recipients live.

Jacob Hansen
Jacob comes from a background in technical account management and delivery analysis for the last six years, and has been with SendGrid's Deliverability Consultant team for the last two years. He enjoys spreading knowledge to help the email community send more "wanted email" and to help senders realize their full potential. Originally from Nebraska, but living in Colorado long enough for it to feel like home, Jacob enjoys a lot of what the Denver restaurant, bar, brewery and music scenes have to offer.