Until just recently, the Canadian Government had planned to enact the Private right of Action provisions on July 1st as part of Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL). This provision would have allowed individuals to bring lawsuits against organizations and it’s officers, directors and agents for CASL violations. Despite the suspension of these provisions, organizations still are required to obtain express content rather than implied content for any commercial electronic messages (CEMs) with their customers.
While this may seem to be a relief for organizations concerned with a rise in costly lawsuits, this does not mean that the organization should rest on its laurels. The CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) tasked with enforcing the CASL laws is still able to investigate and bring complaints to a lawsuit that could result in damages. The best thing organizations can do now is to get up to speed with the laws and ensure that all their customers who are served by electronic communications have provided consent. While there are certain exceptions to the need for express consent (such as the existence of an existing business relationship (EBR)), it is probably wise to start thinking about the various channels through which consumer interaction happens and manage the conversion from implied consent to express consent. Whether that being at a store, online or over the phone. If you are a US based organization where you create your content mostly in English, keep in mind that it will take some time for translating these materials as well if you operate in the French speaking Quebec area. Furthermore, you’ll want to be consistently and accurately translated.
With that, also keep in mind any provisions that are specific to Canadian consumers, such as appropriate references to local laws, terms and conditions, as well as a plan for any legal disputes and where these legal matters will be brought to court. Keep in mind that the OQLF tasked with the French language may also look at the availability of any information in French if the organization is selling to customers in the Quebec area, whether that is online exclusively or with physical retail stores. Any procedural changes that affect staff in the stores will also have to be updated with instructions in French.
Of course, if you need any help with translation of materials in response to Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation or like to do business in Canada and need help with all your Canadian French language needs, do not hesitate to contact Language Solutions to help with the Francization process.