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Canadian government prorogation stalls Anti-Spam law

January 6, 2010

(WEB HOST INDUSTRY REVIEW) -- As little as 14 days from undergoing the final stage in becoming an Act of Parliament, a Canadian bill promising to cut down on the abusive email marketing practices, known as spam, is being put on hold as the government suspends Parliament until March.

According to a report from, bill C-27, also known as the Electronic Commerce Protection Act, was approaching senate review before Parliament was suspended by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who asked the Governor General to prorogue (or postpone) Parliament on December 30.

Newspaper The Toronto Star notes that prorogation is not uncommon in Canada, and has been used by governments past such as in 2003, when PM Jean Chretien prorogued Parliament partly to delay the release of an auditor's report on a sponsorship scandal, among other reasons. The Star notes that Harper's prorogation at the end of last month was an attempt to avoid the opposition's questions, particularly about the Afghan detainee issue.

Caught in the crossfire, however, are several dozen bills that, unless unanimous voted through in the House of Commons, have to start the legislation process over again. The Electronic Commerce Protection Act, which needs to be reviewed by a Senate committee before Parliament to receive Royal Assent and become law, and this work has become jeopardized. With Parliament expected to resume March 3, it is unclear when or if this anti-spam legislation will become operational.

Author:  David Hamilton


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