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CASL Wins Red-Tape Award!

By Ken Magill
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business kicked off its Red-Tape Awareness week yesterday by announcing the winners of its Paperweight awards—government actions that cause Canadian businesses the most headaches.
In what should surprise no one who subscribes to the Magill Report, the Canadian Anti-Spam Law, or CASL was one of them.
What should also surprise no one is a Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission bureaucrat’s pathetic response to CFIB criticism.
Officially, the Paperweight award went to Jean-Pierre Blais, chairman of the CRTC, for his role in launching and enforcing the law.
“Complying with this new regime has proven complicated and costly for small business owners, who say it does little to stop real spam while placing onerous requirements on businesses to record and track consent for routine business email,” said the CFIB in a post announcing the Paperweight awards.
A report on the awards in Canada’s Financial Post served to illustrate just how callously out of touch Canadian bureaucrats are with what it takes to run a business—not that Canadian federal bureaucrats are any better or worse than those of any other country.
“Ms. [Laura] Jones [CFIB executive vice president] pointed to a CFIB member who was looking for help from the government agency on how to be compliant, and was told to consult their legal affairs department. ‘Well, newsflash, businesses with fewer than five employees don’t have legal affairs departments,’ she said. ‘When government comes at small businesses with that attitude, it just shows such a disconnect.’
“[CRTC spokesman Denis] Carmel disagreed that the CRTC has not helped businesses adjust, pointing to a wealth of information on its website,” the Financial Post reported. “’I think we’ve done the best we could in the circumstances to help them,’” he said, according to the Post.
“’We understand it’s a big challenge in the beginning, but over time it will become part of the cost of doing business.’”
Oh. Is that all? Well, okay then. I take back everything critical I ever wrote about CASL. And the rest of you peasants should put down your pitchforks and torches, turn on your magic money spigots and pay tribute. A spokesman for your benevolent Canadian overlords has decreed your worries trivial.
CASL already is part of the cost of doing business in Canada—a pointless, needlessly punitive cost.
And for a CRTC bureaucrat to use the phrase “cost of doing business” as if it somehow renders the law benign illustrates a man who has never had the stomach-churning experience of sweating his accounts receivable, or who has never worried over making payroll. 
That Carmel can be so flippant about the needless frustration, confusion and fear CASL has created and the real dollars it is costing already-stressed, overtaxed and over-regulated law-abiding business owners is appalling.
If only we could skim off 10 percent of Carmel’s paycheck. Then we could say: “What was that you ask? Why, it’s just the cost of being a bureaucrat. We understand it’s a big challenge in the beginning, but you’ll get used to it.”

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