Marketing within the rules: Mid-year update

Jun 29, 2021
Advocacy Standards

It’s been a busy year for the CMA on the advocacy and regulatory front. This update will help you keep up to date on rules that impact marketing, and changes coming down the pike.

Privacy and Data Protection

In May, the CMA brought the marketing community together to discuss major privacy developments, and to hear a special keynote address by Ali Ehsassi, Parliamentary Secretary to the federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

Federal Privacy Law Reform

Throughout 2021, the CMA actively engaged with stakeholders across government to support the advancement of Bill C-11, which – with key amendments - proposed a fair and effective approach to updated Canada’s federal privacy law. Our CEO’s op-ed, published in The Hill Times, addressed the importance of privacy law reform that protects consumers while supporting business innovation.

Although Bill C-11 did not advance prior to Parliament’s summer recess, the CMA – supported by its Privacy and Data Committee - will continue laying the groundwork to ensure the needs of the marketing community are represented when federal privacy law reform picks up again.

Provincial Privacy Law Reform

Quebec, BC, and Ontario are in varying stages of reforming or introducing their own private sector privacy rules. These frameworks apply in place of PIPEDA for intra-provincial activities.

In light of federal developments, BC announced a consultation (ending late July) on how it should update it’s own provincial private sector framework.

Ontario followed suit with its own consultation (ending early August) to consider bringing a private sector privacy law to Ontario for the first time.

Quebec’s Bill-64, which contains stringent, GDPR-like proposals to update its private sector privacy law, has been under study by a Committee of the National Assembly (and is currently on hold during their summer recess).

The CMA has been actively engaged with provincial governments to ensure coordination of privacy rules across the country, and continues to make submissions on behalf of the marketing community at the federal and provincial levels.

Marketers are encouraged to provide any feedback to Fiona Wilson, CMA’s Director, Government Relations.

Consumer Protection

Ontario Consumer Protection Act

Earlier this year, the CMA and its members participated in a roundtable discussion with the Honourable Lisa Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Affairs, on proposed amendments to the Ontario Consumer Protection Act. The CMA’s submission expressed support for modernizing the Act, as long as it enables businesses to be agile, competitive and innovative.

Competition Law

Fraud Prevention

As a long-standing member of the Fraud Prevention Forum, the CMA continued to raise awareness about fraud and engaged in a social media campaign aimed at both consumers and businesses, providing information on how to identify and protect themselves.

Performance Claims

In collaboration with the federal Competition Bureau, the CMA released a blog with an overview of the Bureau’s perspectives on what marketers need to know about performance claims.


In April, we updated our CASL Guide. Developed by our Ethics and Standards Committee and reviewed by industry experts, the updated guide contains essential information for marketers about the commercial electronic messaging provisions of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). CMA members can access and download the Guide anytime, and non-members can read an overview.

Cannabis Marketing

Legislative review of the Cannabis Act is expected to get underway later in the year. Our Working Group on Cannabis Marketing met with Health Canada as part of ongoing dialogue with government officials on issues affecting marketers in the space and is in the process of preparing for the review. Interested in joining the group? Contact us.

All of the documents and guidance provided through this blog can be accessed on our website under Advocacy – Policy Topics, Maintaining Standards or Compliance and Best Practices Guides.

Questions or comments? E-mail us.

Florentina Stancu-Soare | Senior Manager, Regulatory and Consumer Affairs | CMA
Fiona Wilson | Director, Government Relations | CMA




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