Marginal note:Deceptive notice of winning a prize
53 (1) No person shall, for the purpose of promoting, directly or indirectly, any business interest or the supply or use of a product, send or cause to be sent by electronic or regular mail or by any other means a document or notice in any form, if the document or notice gives the general impression that the recipient has won, will win, or will on doing a particular act win, a prize or other benefit, and if the recipient is asked or given the option to pay money, incur a cost or do anything that will incur a cost.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply if the recipient actually wins the prize or other benefit and the person who sends or causes the notice or document to be sent
(a) makes adequate and fair disclosure of the number and approximate value of the prizes or benefits, of the area or areas to which they have been allocated and of any fact within the person’s knowledge that materially affects the chances of winning;
(b) distributes the prizes or benefits without unreasonable delay; and
(c) selects participants or distributes the prizes or benefits randomly, or on the basis of the participants’ skill, in any area to which the prizes or benefits have been allocated.
Marginal note:Due diligence
(3) No person shall be convicted of an offence under this section who establishes that the person exercised due diligence to prevent the commission of the offence.
Marginal note:Offences by employees or agents
(4) In the prosecution of a corporation for an offence under this section, it is sufficient proof of the offence to establish that it was committed by an employee or agent of the corporation, whether or not the employee or agent is identified, unless the corporation establishes that the corporation exercised due diligence to prevent the commission of the offence.
Marginal note:Liability of officers and directors
(5) Where a corporation commits an offence under this section, any officer or director of the corporation who is in a position to direct or influence the policies of the corporation in respect of conduct prohibited by this section is a party to and guilty of the offence and is liable to the punishment provided for the offence, whether or not the corporation has been prosecuted or convicted, unless the officer or director establishes that the officer or director exercised due diligence to prevent the commission of the offence.
Marginal note:Offence and punishment
(6) Any person who contravenes this section is guilty of an offence and liable
(a) on conviction on indictment, to a fine in the discretion of the court or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years, or to both; or
(b) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding $200,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both.
(7) In sentencing a person convicted of an offence under this section, the court shall consider, among other factors, the following aggravating factors:
(a) the use of lists of persons previously deceived by the commission of an offence under section 52.1 or this section;
(b) the particular vulnerability of recipients of the notices or documents referred to in subsection (1) to abusive tactics;
(c) the amount of the proceeds realized by the person from the commission of an offence under this section;
(d) previous convictions of the person under section 52 or 52.1 or this section; and
(e) the manner in which information is conveyed, including the use of abusive tactics.
- R.S., 1985, c. C-34, s. 53
- 1999, c. 2, s. 14
- 2002, c. 16, s. 6
- 2009, c. 2, s. 416
- Date modified: