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Archived - Harper Government Delivers on Commitment to Protect Canadian Consumers from Spam

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Ottawa, December 4, 2013—The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry, today announced that Canada's anti-spam law will come into force on July 1, 2014.

"Our government does not believe Canadians should receive emails they do not want or did not ask to receive," said Minister Moore. "These legislative measures will protect consumers from spam and other threats that lead to harassment, identity theft and fraud. We are prohibiting unsolicited text messages, including cellphone spam, and giving Canadian businesses clarity so they can continue to compete in the online marketplace."

Bill C-28 received support from all parties in the House of Commons and Senate and was passed by Parliament in December 2010. The legislation was the result of extensive consultation with Canadian businesses. Canada's anti-spam law will deter the most damaging and deceptive forms of spam, such as identity theft, phishing and spyware, from occurring in Canada and will help drive out spammers. Canadian charities, which operate based on the generosity of Canadians, will be able to continue fundraising as before.

"Canada's anti-spam legislation will mark a new era in consumers' and citizens' use of the Internet to communicate with businesses," said John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre. "Consumers and citizens will now be better able to decide for themselves whether and how they will engage with companies using electronic means for commercial messages. Consumers and citizens will now have more control of all of their inboxes on all of their devices and hopefully will be able to use email and other messaging services with a confidence that matches their love of the convenience of these methods."

"The coming into force of Canada's new anti-spam law is good news for consumers," said Aubrey LeBlanc, President of the Consumers Council of Canada. "The law should help curb unwanted junk entering our email boxes and give the government authority to do something about unscrupulous emailers. Internet users and honest businesses will welcome the opportunity to clean up email."

"This legislation makes Canada a place where abusive messaging will no longer be tolerated," said Neil Schwartzman, Executive Director of the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email (CAUCE). "It protects lawful businesses and consumers from the bad actors ruinously abusing the online experience of millions by putting a stop to email spam and all types of messaging abuse. CAUCE regards the safety of Internet users as paramount," Mr. Schwartzman added. "Canadians will now enjoy a protected online ecosystem under this legislation."

It is estimated that spam costs the Canadian economy more than $3 billion per year. Many of Canada's global partners, such as Australia, the U.K. and the U.S., have already passed strong laws to combat spam and related online threats. Included in Canada's approach is a mandatory 3-year review of the anti-spam law to ensure it reflects technological change and an evolving digital economy.

More information on Canada's anti-spam legislation is in the attached backgrounder.

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For further information (media only), please contact:

Jake Enwright
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable James Moore
Minister of Industry

Media Relations
Industry Canada

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