CASL Information for Employees

What is CASL?

The primary purpose of the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (usually called CASL) is to control spam (unwanted Commercial Electronic Messages, or CEMs). CASL applies to "Commercial Electronic Messages" (CEMs), which are defined as any "electronic messages" that encourage participation in a "commercial activity". CASL is one of the world’s most stringent anti-spam laws and it came into force on July 1, 2014.

Does it apply to Okanagan College?

CASL applies to most organizations in Canada, including Okanagan College. However, only few of OC's messages are subject to CASL. Okanagan College is not a commercial entity and therefore its core activities are not of a "commercial character." 

What are some examples of OC's core activities?

Any messages related to the College's core activities are exempt from CASL and you can send your message if it relates to these core activities.

For a more complete list of OC activities, see Applying CASL to OC Activities. Here are some highlights:

  • Messages that promote OC programs and courses (recruitment) 
  • Messages that provide information about application, admission, registration, financial aid, schedules, exams, policies and other administrative matters important to applicants and students 
  • Promoting events related to the core activities of the College including conferences, research workshops, student concerts etc.


What else is exempt?

The legislation has a few other exemptions, for example:

  • Messages for the primary purpose of fundraising by a registered charity. The Okanagan College Foundation, the Alumni Association and Okanagan College are registered charities.
  • Messages to family members or to individuals that you have a personal relationship with. This is narrowly defined in the legislation.
  • Messages between employees of Okanagan College regarding OC's affairs.

Before you send a message

  1. Review the documentation below. The best place to start is with the Frequently Asked Questions
  2. Consider a) who are you sending your message to, b) the subject of your message, and c) how it relates to the College's core activities
  3. Always include a signature in your emails (regardless if CASL applies or not). It should include your department, address and a contact phone number
  4. Offer an unsubscribe and if someone wants to unsubscribe, remove them from your list immediately (review Model Language for more)
  5. If in doubt about a particular message or to book a training session, contact Inga Wheeler. 

Okanagan College Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Compliance Checklist

Model Language

Applying CASL to OC Activities 

OC CASL Flowchart

External Resources

Government of Canada: Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation



Inga Wheeler
Office of the Registrar
250-762-5445 ext 4847