FOPL is pleased to release these resources to the entire library community in Canada.

Official Legal Opinion for Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation and Public Libraries

The link below is a PDF of an official legal opinion and guidance about the new (federal) Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation and how it might affect public libraries in Ontario.

This opinion is provided to FOPL and CULC members only for a period of 90 days.  Our counsel’s opinion is that Ontario public libraries are subject to the legislation and that there are quite a few issues to deal with.  Please read this carefully and share it with your staff and board members as appropriate in your judgment. 
Also below is a model library policy about CASL with further guidance on how your library should handle electronic messages in the context of this wide-ranging and far-reaching federal statute.  It is our counsel’s professional opinion that libraries will have a stronger defence against any complaints or actions if there is a sector-wide policy that is fairly standard.  A province-wide practice is a good defence and this may become more serious over time as the CRTC has received and is obligated to investigate more than 75,000 complaints so far since July 1st!

The following template board policy has been developed by FOPL in consultation with our legal counsel.


The following text is suggested language to be used by FOPL’s and CULC’s member libraries as a template for their CASL compliance policies. It is strongly recommended that each member library tailor the following language to meet its particular circumstances and needs. It is further strongly recommended that each member library obtain legal advice to ensure that its particular policy complies with CASL’s requirements.

Template CASL policy – V2

Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation Webinar

w/Maanit Zemel

CASL Webinar (PPT format)

To access the recording: CASL WEBINAR (audio with slides)

A number of specific questions were received during the webinar.  Here is a copy of Maanit Zemel’s answers to each.  CASLQuestions&Answers



Stephen Abram, MLS

Executive Director, Federation of Ontario Public Libraries