In May 2010, then-Industry Minister Tony Clement introduced anti-spam legislation that he admitted was long overdue. Clement acknowledged that “Canada is seen as a haven for spammers because of the gaps in our current legislation…a place where spammers can reside and inflict their damage around the world.” Despite heavy lobbying against the legislation by groups concerned with new rules on electronic marketing, the government pushed ahead, with the bill receiving all-party support and royal assent by the end of that year.
As my weekly technology law column notes (Toronto Star version, homepage version), two-and-a-half years later, the anti-spam law has still not taken effect, awaiting long-delayed final regulations that have been the target of an intensive campaign to water-down or repeal the legislation before it ever takes effect.
Last week, government officials disclosed that the best-case scenario for the law is that final regulations are released late this summer with the implementation of the law delayed until the fall of 2014. Moreover, many provisions may not become operational until at least 2017, eight years after the first anti-spam law bill was tabled in the House of Commons.