Re: Downloading legal in Canada? You must mean the other Canada, because it's not legal in this one.
You are referring to the so-called "notice and notice" system introduced by the Canadian government's recent Copyright Modernization Act. ISPs are required to forward copyright violation notices to customers who are identified only by an IP address. They are further required to keep the customer IP address assignment on file for at least 6 months. If the copyright complainant chooses to launch a lawsuit, the ISP is required to turn over their customer's identity in response to a court order. As always, it's up to the courts to decide guilt or innocence and set the damages within the range allowed by the law. As nobody has yet been sued for downloading, it may be a long time before any of the legal issues surrounding it are decided in a court of law. Currently copyright enforcers have sued only torrenters, since their IP address is known and they can be shown to be distributing copyrighted material by participating in the torrent. As I said, low-hanging fruit.
Perhaps you'd care to point to France as a model of enforcing copyright on the internet via a government agency? Here are the numbers from France in their first 5 years of enforcement:
37,000,000 complaints received by the agency (they say they only have resources to look at about half of them)
5,400,000 first warning notices issued
504,000 second warning notices issued
2900 third strike notices issued
2336 referred for investigation
400 referred for prosecution (only the most serious repeat offenders)
The fine can range up to 1500 euros, but so far the maximum fine issued has been 500 euros to a few who failed to respond to the prosecution notice. The highest fine issued to those who admitted guilt for repeat uploading was 300 euros.