Canada has one of the toughest anti-spam laws in the world, and many of our members are aware that APEGA—like all entities that communicate through email—is bound by it. Designed to protect citizens from being overloaded with commercial email and texts, Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) came into effect in 2014.
Under the legislation, organizations are permitted to send electronic messages that encourage commercial interactions, providing recipients have consented. These commercial electronic messages, or CEMs, include things like emails and text messages announcing an event, seeking sales, or even just promoting brand recognition.
Some of our members—about 20 per cent of them—have unsubscribed from APEGA newsletters that contain CEMs. Yet you still receive some email from APEGA.
Some of you have asked why that’s so.
It comes down to the definition of CEMs and our role as a self-regulating organization. We are legally bound to keep you informed about self-regulatory matters. You are legally bound to remain current on the standards, guidelines, and other regulatory information we share regarding your practice.
Other information may not be critical but is still regulatory. Encouraging you to vote in an APEGA election, for example, is not a CEM. APEGA’s commentary on a public incident is another example. You may not be legally required to know where APEGA stands, but we think it’s important that you do know—so we send you an email.
When APEGA does send CEMs, we ensure that they are within ePEGs or other emails you can unsubscribe from.
More About Consent
There are two types of CASL consent: express and implied. These apply to email and text messages, but not to telephone calls.
Express consent: You have specifically agreed to receive email. An example of express consent is subscribing to an organization’s mailing list. This type of consent doesn’t expire unless you take action by opting out or unsubscribing.
Implied consent: Even if you haven’t given express consent, certain actions imply your consent to receive CEMs. Examples of implied consent are joining a group, seeking specific information from an organization, or entering into a business relationship of some kind. This type of consent expires after two years or when you opt out.
When you first join APEGA, you have provided implied consent. It is then up to you to opt out of CEM messaging.
The communications you receive must relate to the kind of implied consent you’ve given. If you are an APEGA mentor, for example, that doesn’t imply consent for delivery of the ePEG. It does imply consent for information on upcoming events for mentors.
More About the ePEG
The ePEG, which we’ve just redesigned, has a subscription base of more than 46,000 addresses. This newsletter provides important APEGA news, including notices about coming events and volunteer opportunities. Also, we link to information professional engineers and geoscientists tend to be interested in, even if it isn’t directly related to APEGA. A typical ePEG contains a mix of CEMs and regulatory messaging.
APEGA is committed to meeting all CASL requirements. We also strive to ensure members and permit holders receive the information they need to practise professionally and ethically. This is part of our role—and yours—in service to the public interest.
Your subscription settings are not just for opting out. At any time, you can choose to opt back in to non-regulatory messaging.
Contact Cecilia Wong, APEGA Marketing & Sponsorships Manager, at [email protected].