In 2014, the anti-spam provisions of Canada's Anti-Spam
Legislation (CASL) came into force, creating a wide array of
compliance requirements for businesses. On October 7, 2014, the
CRTC announced the conclusion of its first investigation and
enforcement action under CASL (see our blog post on the
CRTC Concludes First Enforcement Under Canada's New Anti-Spam
Legislation). While the CRTC exercised its discretion and
declined to levy fines in that investigation, an investigation
alone can generate significant costs and obligations for
If your business is subject to investigation under CASL, there
are several ways in which you may be able demonstrate compliance
with the legislation and avoid the significant penalties associated
with non-compliance. One such option is to attempt to prove that
your activities do not fall within the scope of CASL.
A threshold issue is that CASL only applies to "commercial
electronic messages", or CEMs. Any business sending a CEM must
do so in compliance with CASL. As a result, if your business can
demonstrate that the investigated electronic messages were not in
fact CEMs, it may be sufficient to exonerate your business from
liability under CASL.
To qualify as a CEM, a transmission must be: (i) an
"electronic message;" (ii) which is sent to an
"electronic account;" and (iii) which has a
"commercial purpose." These definitions appear to be
intended to capture a broad array of communication modalities,
including e-mail, social media, and so on. However, there may be
exceptions – for example, the situation as to whether
advertisements delivered over social media services are sent to an
"electronic account" appears to be unclear. Likewise,
although the term "commercial purpose" appears to
encompass many activities, there may be reasonable arguments as to
why your particular communications do not have a "commercial
Most modern businesses use electronic means to communicate with
both existing and prospective customers. If your business is
subject to investigation regarding electronic transmissions, you
will have to prove that your transmissions were either compliant
with CASL and the Regulations, or that your transmissions were not
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.
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Under the Income Tax Act, the Employment Insurance Act, and the Excise Tax Act, a director of a corporation is jointly and severally liable for a corporation's failure to deduct and remit source deductions or GST.
Under the Income Tax Act, the Employment Insurance Act, the Canada Pension Plan Act and the Excise Tax Act, a director of a corporation is jointly and severally liable for a corporation's failure to deduct and remit source deductions.
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