BBOT Concerned with CASL

With Canada’s new anti-spam legislation (CASL) coming into effect on July 1st, the Burnaby Board of Trade is voicing concern over potential negative impacts the new regulations will have on businesses, particularly SMEs.

The legislation, originally passed in 2010 but only now coming into effect, is intended to protect individuals from unwanted commercial electronic messages (CEMs) by requiring organizations to acquire prior consent from intended recipients, as well as abide by certain content protocols to ensure sender transparency and consent withdrawal options.

While not opposed to the intent of the legislation, it is the opinion of the Burnaby Board of Trade that in practice, CASL – specifically in its administrative requirements – unfairly hinders businesses. “I can understand the sentiment behind this law,” states Paul Holden, BBOT President & CEO. “However, the burden of compliance will be onerous for some businesses.”

In order to comply with CASL, businesses will be required to maintain databases and keep track of types of consent received, possible exemptions, and potential consent expiration dates. CASL also places the “burden of proof” on businesses to prove when, where and how they obtained consent from each contact, a cumbersome and expensive requirement that many businesses will struggle to comply with.

Ultimately, the Burnaby Board of Trade feels the administrative requirements of CASL will reduce competitiveness and economic activity by channeling resources away from core business activities to administration and record-keeping. 

The Burnaby Board of Trade will contact the Minister of Industry directly to ensure the concerns of our members regarding CASL are heard and the BBOT will continue to monitor the impact of the legislation’s implementation and encourage reasonable changes to the law moving forward.

As the voice of its 1100 members, the Burnaby Board of Trade advocates for the interests of business to all levels of government. Over the past several months, the Burnaby Board of Trade has worked hard to help members prepare for the implementation of CASL by holding information sessions, meeting with the Minister responsible, and publishing information and guides on our website.