Anti-spam laws in Canada

The legal environment changes all the time, so the information and links below may be out of date. Be sure to check with your local regulatory authority or legal experts for the latest information.

Find out which laws apply to commercial email.

Related categories:


The Canadian Government originally tabled anti-spam legislation in early 2009. Bill C-27 "The Electronic Commerce Protection Act" (ECPA) addressed spam, counterfeit websites and spyware. The original bill has now been reintroduced as Bill C-28, the "Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act" (FISA).

C-28 passed into law in mid-December 2010.

Legislation (C-29) is also being proposed to amend Canada's Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which covers online privacy in detail and contains many provisions relevant to email marketing.

Key documents

Bill C-28
The full text of C-28.

Industry Canada: FISA
Central resource for FISA, with links to the news release and backgrounder information that accompanied the (re)introduction of the bill, the full text, a Q&A, etc..

Bill C-27
Homepage for the initial proposals, with links to the full text, status, related meeting transcripts, speeches and more.

Industry Canada: PIPEDA
Full background details on PIPEDA, with guidelines and advice for business on ensuring compliance.

Task Force on Spam
The government set up a task force on spam which reported in May 2005. This site has all the details, including the full text of the final report.

Interpretation and commentary

The Marketer's Guide to Applying FISA
White paper reviewing compliance obligation, penalties, etc. Compiled by ThinData, Return Path, CAUCE and the Law Office of Kris Klein.

Bill C-28
Updates on the bill's progress toward final implementation, plus a detailed FAQ for marketers and a readiness checklist.

Presentation: Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act
High-level overview and presentation slides at

C-28 posts
Collection of useful FISA-related posts at

CAUCE North America
The Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email played an active role in the spam task force and the site contains many good documents, links and commentary on the Canadian situation.

What you need to know
ESP Bronto reviews the key consent and location issues introduced by C-28.

Canada's Anti-Spam Bill (C-28) Becomes Law
A brief overview from ESP ExactTarget.

Email prospecting under Canadian law
Detailed look at how the law impacts those looking to solicit business using implied consent or rented lists.

Initial draft of rules
ESP interpretation of the rules behind the email law.