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Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation

What is Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation?

One of the purposes of the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) is to control unwanted commercial electronic messages (CEMs). CASL is one of the world's most stringent anti-spam laws.

Who does CASL apply to?

The legislation applies to most organizations and businesses in Canada, including SAIT.

When did the legislation take effect?

CASL came into effect on July 1, 2014. A three-year grace period was granted to allow all organizations time to secure express consent or renew implied consent from contacts by July 1, 2017. The legislation also allows communication to contacts for two years after the last date of implied consent.

As of June 7, 2017, the provision to allow private citizens to take legal action against organizations that violate Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), previously scheduled to come into effect July 1, 2017, has been suspended. The Government of Canada cited the concerns raised by the charitable and nonprofit sector as one of the primary reasons for the suspension. The rest of CASL remains in effect.

What is SAIT doing to address CASL?

SAIT is taking the legislation very seriously. A SAIT committee has been established to support and monitor institutional compliance with CASL.

What is a Commercial Electronic Message (CEM)?

Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) defines a Commercial Electronic Message (CEM) as any message you send to an electronic account with the intent of encouraging participation in a commercial activity. Examples of an electronic account are email, text message, instant message and messages using social media websites.

SAIT has carefully considered this definition of Commercial Electronic Messages (CEMs) and determined that electronic messages related to our core activities do not meet the definition of promoting a commercial product or service. As a public educational institution primarily funded by the government, SAIT provides a public service and is not a commercial entity.

SAIT does conduct some commercial activity and, therefore, communication about these activities will comply with CASL:

  • Merchandise and retail sales
  • Advertising opportunities
  • Fitness memberships
  • Conference Services and event rentals
  • Alumni affinity programs and benefits

Partners operating on our campus or in association with SAIT are considered commercial and will need to comply with CASL:

  • Advertisers
  • Food outlets
  • Affinity partners
  • Venue rentals(ers)
  • Events (ticketed and free), contests and promotions not related to SAIT's core activities and held on campus (eg: athletic events or concerts being held in SAIT facilities)

Learn how we apply CASL to SAIT activities.

As a registered non-profit organization, SAIT conducts fundraising campaigns and appeals, often by email. Fundraising solicitations are exempt from this legislation.

During the admission process, SAIT collects personal information for the purpose of carrying out its business and operations with students and alumni, including but not limited to statistical research, funding, planning and marketing purposes.

SAIT considers the admission agreement as express consent from students and alumni. Express consent is valid until the individual unsubscribes from any or all communications.

How do I ensure SAIT does not send me unwanted electronic messages?

SAIT's relationship with you may be two-fold — ongoing carrying out of SAIT core business (education) or may be commercial in nature (selling merchandise, room rentals, etc.).

Students may not opt-out of messages they receive as part of SAIT's core business as it is important for SAIT to communicate directly with students to convey important and timely information. However, students and alumni may opt-out of any commercial messages from SAIT by using the link provided in the electronic message or through the link below, but you will only be asked to give consent on those messages considered to be commercial in nature.



What if I have questions or need more information?

Direct your questions about CASL and how it impacts your relationship with SAIT to CASL.help@sait.ca.

General CASL information and its requirements are available on the Government of Canada website.