Canada: Merry Emails In Compliance With CASL

Last Updated: January 2 2015
Article by Anca M. Sattler

Holidays are a time to be merry, to socialize, to meet new people and to spread the word about your business and activities. We often make new contacts and set the foundation for new business relationships during this time of the year. But now that Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation ("CASL") restricts our electronic communications, how can we email these individuals after the event? Can we add their names to our contacts distribution list? What can we do to maintain contact with these individuals while ensuring compliance with CASL?

Organizing a Holiday social event

Many organizations seek to promote their activities during the months of November and December, by putting together events for their members, clients or interested individuals in the community. To follow up with persons attending these events by sending electronic messages with commercial content, the organizations have to comply with CASL.

A broad category of emails qualify as "commercial electronic message" under CASL and many emails that at first blush appear non-commercial, could be captured by this definition in CASL. For example, a holiday greeting email may be considered commercial if one of its purposes is to promote your organization or an individual. Be aware that even hyperlinks within the message leading to content on a website could trigger the applicability of CASL and the requirements within.

Once you have established that an email is commercial in nature, you must ensure that you have the requisite consent from the recipient to receive this message. For example, you may already have the implied, or even express, consent of current members or clients of your organization. If your organization is a registered charity, a political party or organization or a candidate for public office you have the implied consent of those individuals who attended the event and you can email that individual for a period of two years following the event, or until they unsubscribe.

If your organization does not fall under one of these categories, you cannot rely on this exception to the requirement of consent. You may however, email those individuals if they have disclosed their email address to the organizers of the event, without indicating that they do not wish to receive unsolicited commercial emails and the message you are about to send is related to the person's business role, function or duties in a business or official capacity. What this means for you: you will likely skip the holiday greeting cards and get right to business in the new year. The good news is that you can rely on the implied consent of such individuals indefinitely, or until they unsubscribe.

However, implied consent may also arise as a result of your guests having purchased a good or a service from your business or organization within the previous two years. Not to mention that the event itself may have been a paid event, which would give rise to implied consent from the attendee to receive further commercial messages from your organization.

If your organization already has the express consent of the attendees at your Holiday social event, before emailing the individuals any correspondence with commercial content, you want to ensure that (1) express consent exists (i.e. the person has not unsubscribed) and (2) that the scope of the express consent includes the sending of the type of correspondence you intend to send.

Remember that, regardless of the type of consent relied upon, you have to comply with the disclosure and unsubscribe requirements within the content of each message.

Attending an event

We all look forward to attending holiday events organized by businesses or business associations, as usually there is great food, coveted prizes and especially great networking opportunities. We stack up on business cards and always hope to meet the next great client or partner, and look forward to introducing ourselves to potential clients.

Attending one of these events and disclosing our email address allows the organizers of the event to rely on our implied consent to receive further commercial electronic messages from that organization, unless we specify that we do not wish to receive unsolicited emails. But even if, in the midst of all the excitement, we forget to express our wish not to receive commercial emails, we always  have the option to unsubscribe with every email received from the organizers of the event.

But how can we, as individuals, follow up with the contacts that we make during one of these events? The principle is the same. If an individual hands you their business card or discloses their email address to you, you may be able to follow up with an email related to that person's business role, function or duties within their business or official capacity.

Obtaining a business card is not necessarily an invitation to send unsolicited emails, and you can only send them messages related to the business on their business card. However, verbal consent can be relied upon under CASL and you may confirm with the individuals that it is acceptable to contact them later. Obtaining express consent from that individual allows you to send them your cheerful holiday card as well as commercial and promotional emails, regardless of their business functions. Nonetheless, since the onus is on you, the sender of the message, to show that you have express consent, it is likely preferable to drag out that business card rolodex that you received as a holiday gift many years ago, and store the paper business card.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions