Just in time for the coming into force of Canada's new anti-spam legislation ("CASL") on July 1st, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission ("CRTC") has published a set of guidelines to help businesses develop corporate compliance programs. Compliance and Enforcement Information Bulletin 2014-326 sets out general guidance and best practices to help ensure businesses and their employees meet CASL's stringent requirements. An effective corporate compliance plan will serve two main purposes: (1) reduce the likelihood of businesses violating CASL, and (2) help businesses establish a due diligence defence in the event of a violation.

The bulletin sets out a number of broad suggestions for compliance programs, including:

  • Appointing a member of senior management as chief compliance officer
  • Conducting a risk assessment
  • Developing a written corporate compliance policy
  • Establishing a system of record keeping (hard copy or electronic)
  • Developing a training program for all staff
  • Developing and implementing an auditing and monitoring program
  • Establishing a customer complaint system
  • Developing a disciplinary code to address contraventions by staff

Businesses are advised to review the CRTC's recommendations and obtain legal advice on developing and implementing an effective corporate compliance program as soon as possible. For more information on CASL, see our paper here. For more detailed suggestions for developing a corporate compliance program, the full text of the CRTC Bulletin can be found here.

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.