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May 15, 2011

When will CASL Come into Effect?

 The best answer to this question is 'that depends'.

The process to full deployment of the law is this:

Publication of Regulations in The Canada Gazette (a small subset, related entirely to making working room for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner were published April 01, here).

After publication of the regulations, there will be a public commentary period, some time for the government to reflect on submission, presumably some adjustment to the regulations, and then full implementation of the law.

The recent elections in Canada delayed the publication of the full set of regulations, naturally enough. Sources say that the former Minister of Industry, Tony Clement, had signed the regulations, but civility and protocol dictate that they be held back until the new Minister be given the opportunity to review them prior to publication.

The newly-elected Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, will apparently be appointing his cabinet in these next few weeks, but his options are wide-open, and choices difficult.

The former Minister of Industry did a laudable job, and is one of Harper's favourite rising stars, making him both suitable for reappointment as Minister of Industry, and in another position.

Mark Kennedy from the Vancouver Sun puts it like this:
Tony Clement, at industry, was at the centre of action in the last year -the potash foreign takeover decision, the long-form census, the CRTC, gas prices -and is regarded as highly competent. Harper values his work at industry but might need him elsewhere.
If Clement comes back to Industry, the learning curve will be very short, and the regulations likely to be published as early as June, the law in effect mid-Autumn.

If however, there is a new Minister appointed, the regulations may not go out before September, and the law will come into effect early 2012.

At we are splitting the difference: Companies should be ready to conform to the new law by January 01, 2012, at the very latest. We have a convenient count-down clock on the main site, to help you keep track.

Coming soon: What the regulations will address. (hint - they will not soften the blow)

 - Neil Schwartzman