ARCHIVED — Vol. 147, No. 26 — December 18, 2013

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Registration

SI/2013-127 December 18, 2013

AN ACT TO PROMOTE THE EFFICIENCY AND ADAPTABILITY OF THE CANADIAN ECONOMY BY REGULATING CERTAIN ACTIVITIES THAT DISCOURAGE RELIANCE ON ELECTRONIC MEANS OF CARRYING OUT COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES, AND TO AMEND THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION ACT, THE COMPETITION ACT, THE PERSONAL INFORMATION PROTECTION AND ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS ACT AND THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT

Order Fixing Certain Dates as the Days on which Certain Provisions of the Act Come into Force

P.C. 2013-1323 December 3, 2013

His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Industry, pursuant to section 91 of An Act to promote the efficiency and adaptability of the Canadian economy by regulating certain activities that discourage reliance on electronic means of carrying out commercial activities, and to amend the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Act, the Competition Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the Telecommunications Act (“the Act”), chapter 23 of the Statutes of Canada, 2010, fixes

(a) July 1, 2014 as the day on which sections 1 to 7, 9 to 46, 52 to 54, 56 to 67 and 69 to 82 of the Act, subsections 12(2) and 12.2(2) of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, as enacted by section 83 of the Act, subsection 86(2), section 88 and subsection 89(1) of the Act come into force;

(b) January 15, 2015 as the day on which section 8 of the Act comes into force; and

(c) July 1, 2017 as the day on which sections 47 to 51 and 55 of the Act come into force.

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Order.)

Proposal

The Order fixes July 1, 2014, as the day on which all provisions of An Act to promote the efficiency and adaptability of the Canadian economy by regulating certain activities that discourage reliance on electronic means of carrying out commercial activities, and to amend the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Act, the Competition Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the Telecommunications Act (“the Act”), chapter 23 of the Statutes of Canada, 2010, come into force, other than sections 8, 47 to 51, 55, 68, 84, and 85, subsection 86(1), section 87, subsection 89(2), and sections 90 and 91 of the Act, and subsections 12(1), (3) and (4), section 12.1 and subsections 12.2(1) and (3) of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act as enacted by section 83 of the Act. The Order fixes January 15, 2015, as the day on which section 8 of the Act comes into force. The Order fixes July 1, 2017, as the day on which sections 47 to 51 and 55 of the Act come into force.

Objective

To bring into force legislation that is intended to deter spam and other damaging and deceptive electronic threats such as identity theft, phishing and spyware from occurring in Canada and to help drive spammers out of Canada, in a way that phases in the violations and enforcement mechanisms over a three-year period.

Background

The Act received royal assent on December 15, 2010. The Act is a culmination of a process that began with the Anti-Spam Action Plan for Canada launched by the Government of Canada in 2004, which established a private-sector task force chaired by Industry Canada to examine the issue of unsolicited commercial electronic messages. After a process of consultation with stakeholders and the public, the task force issued a report in May 2005 examining the spam situation in Canada, and recommended, among other measures, that legislation specifically aimed at combating spam be created.

The Act will involve several agencies in the regulation of commercial electronic messages and other electronic threats, namely the Competition Bureau, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. In addition to establishing a regulatory framework to address spam and other electronic threats, such as identity theft, phishing, spyware, malware, and botnets in Canada, the Act gives these agencies the authority to share information and evidence with international counterparts.

Some sections of the Act were brought into force on April 1, 2011, amending the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) to provide exceptions to the Privacy Commissioner’s obligation to investigate every complaint filed and allow her to share information and evidence with her international and provincial counterparts.

The Act introduces new violations concerning sending commercial electronic messages and the installation of computer programs. To reduce risks to businesses affected by the provisions in the Act related to computer programs, the provision in the Act that introduces the new violation regarding the installation of computer programs (i.e. section 8) — as well as section 6 of the Governor in Council Regulations which addresses situations where there is deemed consent pursuant to section 10(8) of the Act — will come into force six months after the bulk of the Act comes into force, including the provisions related to sending commercial electronic messages.

The Act will be enforced both through regulatory measures such as administrative monetary penalties and through a private right of action. In order to ease the transition for businesses to this regulated environment, the sections of the Act that provide for enforcement through a private right of action (i.e. sections 47 to 51 and 55) will come into force three years after the bulk of the Act, including the provisions related to sending commercial electronic messages, comes into force.

Sections 68 and 90 and subsection 89(2) are provisions that would make the Act apply to unsolicited telecommunications currently regulated pursuant to the Telecommunications Act (e.g. the National Do Not Call List). As intended, these provisions will not be brought into force at this time and will only be brought into force by Order in Council if the Governor in Council determines that it is appropriate to do so.

Finally, section 91 states that sections of the Act will come into force on dates to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council. This section of the Act came into force on December 15, 2010, when Bill C-28 was adopted.

Implications

There are no financial implications to the Government associated with this Order.

Consultation

Beginning with the 2004 Anti-Spam Action Plan for Canada and the 2005 report of the Task Force on Spam, there was extensive consultation on what type of legislative regime would best address spam in Canada in order to promote the efficiency and adaptability of the Canadian economy.

The Act was considered by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology first as Bill C-27 in 2009 and then as Bill C-28 in 2010, and then by the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications, with stakeholders representing business and consumer interests giving testimony on the legislation and its anticipated impact.

After the bill received royal assent, further consultation was undertaken through two processes of developing regulations under the Act, including through written submissions and face-to-face meetings with stakeholders. The Act and this Order in Council’s phased-in approach to its enactment reflect the input of Canadians, businesses, and organizations, and balance the needs of businesses and consumers.

Departmental contact

John Clare
Director
Privacy and Data Protection Directorate
Digital Policy Branch/Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunications
Industry Canada
Telephone: 613-948-2779