Under the Canada's anti-spam legislation (CASL), can a student member of a student association send emails to the other students of that same association without express consent? Would it be considered a non-business relationship an therfore fall in the scope of implied consent and more specifically section 9(a)?

To provide a bit of background, lets assume the association is an incorporated non profit organization (but not a charity) and the student sending the email wants to advertise a fund raising event.

  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it asks about something entirely dependent on individual policies.
    – user4657
    Commented Nov 13, 2016 at 8:40
  • 2
    @Nij I don't understand your point. The question appears to ask whether a particular set of facts falls under a specific law. Where does policy come into play?
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 13, 2016 at 14:54
  • Opting-in may be automatic for a university email address to receive from any other, subject to the university's own policy.
    – user4657
    Commented Nov 13, 2016 at 18:30
  • @Nij From my perspective, that sounds ridiculous. Canada does have legislation against this, and, while university policies may have some sort of role, there is a legal question here as well.
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Nov 13, 2016 at 20:15
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    If the university says that anybody with one of their addresses can send to anybody else, as long as it complies with policy, then the law doesn't have relevance. The sender has permission and implied consent because that's part of the definition of having the email in the first place.
    – user4657
    Commented Nov 13, 2016 at 20:52

1 Answer 1


From http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/E-1.6/page-2.html#h-6 section 9(a) reads "the person who sends the message, the person who causes it to be sent or the person who permits it to be sent has an existing business relationship or an existing non-business relationship with the person to whom it is sent;"

Thus it does not actually matter whether it's a business or non-business relationship, rather whether it's an existing relationship or not.

The details of the type of association etc might be relevant, but in general there would be a relationship between the parties as they are both members of the same association. (The act does not appear to define the meaning of the word relationship, but THE LAW DICTIONARY defines a relationship as "A particular type of connection existing between people related to or having dealings with each other." - which would seem to fit the criteria described.

Also, there is a FAQ on the Canadian legislation website which confirms you can rely on complied consent - See "What is implied consent" - "The person is a member of your organization or has provided volunteer work, a donation or a gift"

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