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Ken Magill

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Out of the Mouths of the Exempt...

3/4/14

By Ken Magill

Anyone who is still unconvinced that the Canadian anti-spam law set to go into effect in July will have unneeded, onerous effects on business should consider the following statement issued in December:

“Imagine Canada, the national umbrella for Canada’s charities, today welcomed Industry Minister James Moore’s announcement that registered charities will be exempt from new regulations that will apply to commercial electronic messages.

"’We are extremely pleased that the Minister has listened and responded positively to our serious concerns about the negative impact that these regulations would have on the ability of charities to raise funds and generate revenue, by providing this exemption,’ said Imagine Canada President & CEO Marcel Lauzière. ‘As originally proposed, the regulations would have cost charities across Canada millions of dollars – dollars that are better used serving communities. The exemption will significantly reduce administrative and compliance costs for charities and avoid the imposition of unnecessary red tape.’"

Would someone like to take a stab at explaining why having to comply with Canada’s anti-spam law would be an imposition of unnecessary red tape on charities but not on businesses?

Don’t bother. Canada’s anti-spam law will be just the unnecessary imposition of red tape on businesses it would have been on charities. Exempting charities was a tacit admission the law is an unnecessary overreach for which only law-abiding organizations will pay the price to comply.

Somehow, Canadian lawmakers were able to understand that their country’s new anti-spam law would needlessly cripple charities’ ability to fundraise using email. But they were apparently unable to apply the same logic to for-profit entities.

Charities’ presumably good deeds don’t give them any more right to abuse the email eco-system than any other operation. If the law works for business, it should work for non-profits, as well.

But it wouldn’t reasonably work for non-profits, Canadian authorities have determined.

It won’t reasonably work for businesses, either.

Oh, businesses will comply, alright. And the costs of compliance won’t be readily apparent to people outside the individual organizations spending resources that could have been applied elsewhere.

But there will be costs. Costs deemed too onerous for charities to be bothered with. Way to go, Canada.

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