Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) came into force on July 1, 2014. CASL is federal legislation aimed at addressing the harmful effects of spam and electronic threats. School boards need to review carefully the manner in which they communicate electronically with parents, students, service providers, stakeholders, organizations and others, to ensure CASL compliance. Now that CASL is in effect, individuals, corporations and organizations - including school boards - will need to have consent and follow specific procedures when sending electronic messages with a commercial purpose.
We want to continue to keep you up-to-date and informed about the latest school and school board information, events and announcements through electronic communications such as emails and newsletters from Parkland School Division. Occasionally these communications may include information about offers, advertisements or promotions related to school activities such as event tickets, yearbooks, field trip opportunities, student photos, etc. or similar school-related activities.
In order to be compliant with Canada’s Anti-Spam legislation, we need our parents' and guardians' consent to send these types of communications electronically through an 'opt-in' process.
This is done through the online verification/registration process that happens at the end of the school year for returning students or in the New Student Registration form for those new to Parkland School Division.
Legislation In Effect
Examples of commercial activities that might arise in a school setting and result in the sending of “commercial electronic messages” might include:
- Online school newsletters and publications containing offers to purchase goods, products and services, such as apparel, yearbooks, school photos, travel offers, hot lunches, and advertisements for school activities, events and programs for which there is a fee
- Electronic publications recruiting individuals in connection with school programs
- Fundraising activities (Note: as indicated below in this document, there is a limited exception under CASL for CEMs sent by registered charities where the CEM has as its primary purpose raising funds for the charity)
- Offers to purchase or sell land
- Requests for Proposals (RFPs)
Commercial Electronic Message (CEM)
Section 6 of CASL prohibits the sending of a “commercial electronic message (“CEM”)” to an “electronic address” unless:
- The person to whom the message is sent has consented to receiving it, whether the consent is express or implied; and
- The message clearly identifies the sender, along with the sender’s contact information, and
- Provides the recipient with a clear and simple mechanism that allows them to “unsubscribe” from receiving CEMs from the sender in the future.
"Commercial electronic message" means:
- For the purposes of this Act, a commercial electronic message is an electronic message that, having regard to the content of the message, the hyperlinks in the message to content on a website or other database, or the contact information contained in the message, it would be reasonable to conclude has as its purpose, or one of its purposes, to encourage participation in a commercial activity, including an electronic message that
- offers to purchase, sell, barter or lease a product, goods, a service, land or an interest or right in land;
- offers to provide a business, investment or gaming opportunity;
- advertises or promotes anything referred to in paragraph (a) or (b); or
- promotes a person, including the public image of a person, as being a person who does anything referred to in any of paragraphs (a) to (c), or who intends to do so.
"Electronic address" means:
an address used in connection with the transmission of an electronic message to
- an electronic mail account;
- an instant messaging account;
- a telephone account; or
- any similar account.
“Electronic message” means:
a message sent by any means of telecommunication, including a text, sound, voice or image message.
Consequences for Non-Compliance
Penalties for non-compliance are significant and directors and officers may be held personally liable under CASL. Fines of up to $1 million for an individual and $10 million for a corporation may be imposed for certain CASL violations.
CASL exposes directors, officers and agents to potential liability if they are found to have directed, authorized, assented to, acquiesced in or participated in the commission of a violation.
Starting July 2017, individuals and corporations affected by a contravention of CASL will have a private right of action and be able to commence a lawsuit against anyone alleged to have committed the contravention.
Due Diligence Defence
CASL provides that a person must not be found liable for a violation if the person establishes that they exercised due diligence to prevent the commission of the violation.
For more information contact:
Director, Strategic Planning & Communications