After much mulling, the Canadian Parliament passed, on December 16, Bill C-28, the Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act, which creates a new regime for businesses engaged in online marketing.  The legislation regulates commercial “electronic messages,” a term defined broadly to include e-mail, instant messaging, text messages, and messages on “any similar account” — a catch-all category that potentially could include messages on Facebook and Twitter.  The law also provides a new private right of action, modeled on the CAN-SPAM Act in the United States.

No date has been set for the legislation to come into force.  The federal cabinet will establish implementation timelines.