Do-not-call: Links and resources

By Deanne Gage | August 13, 2008 | Last updated on August 13, 2008
3 min read

(August 2008) Do-not-call legislation was passed by the federal Liberal government in 2005, allowing the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to establish telemarketing rules and a national do-not-call registry.

Throughout the process, industry groups Advocis, the Independent Financial Brokers of Canada, Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association and the Canadian Bankers Association participated in discussions with the CRTC. One of the early lobbying efforts tried to get the commission to add financial advisors to the list of parties exempt from the legislation completely, since “they are licensed by an insurance regulatory body or securities commission.”

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Links and resources

Currently, those exempt from the legislation include registered charities, political parties and newspapers. Exemptions were decided by members of parliament.

“I don’t think newspaper subscriptions are providing an essential service,” says advisor Allan Wong, who runs his own firm in Thornhill, Ontario. “Insurance is an essential service — it’s not bought; it’s sold.”

Insurance advisor Martin Lipworth concurs. “You don’t have Mr. and Mrs. Smith waking up one morning and deciding to buy insurance. They may never learn about products being available without an advisor calling them. The person may suffer through the irritation [of a phone call] but now they don’t have to pull their kids out of school because their husband has cancer. Because somebody told them this [insurance] is available.”

“The legislation was really drafted with the classic telemarketer in mind, and, as a result,” says Susan Allemang, head of regulatory affairs for the IFB, “it captured a number of people who use the telephone for other business purposes as well.”

Unfortunately, industry groups lost that battle and the automatic right to contact prospects and referrals, but won the right to keep calling existing clients as long as contact was made within 18 months.

The legislation is up for review again in three years.

How national DNCL will work

Last summer, amendments to the act gave the CRTC the authority to establish a national do not call list (DNCL), appoint list administrators and charge rates to cover costs. The amendments also gave the commission new enforcement powers and the ability to impose monetary penalties.

In a decision issued in Ottawa on July 3, 2007, the CRTC says “for many years the commission has received complaints from consumers regarding inconvenience or nuisance caused by receipt of unsolicited telecommunications made for the purpose of selling or promoting a product or service or for the solicitation of money or money’s worth (i.e. telemarketing telecommunications).” It also said consumers found it difficult to identify and contact telemarketers to make a complaint, which led to the additional requirement that telemarketers register with the CRTC and identify themselves on the phone before asking for the person being called.

Under the Telecom Act, the commission “may, by order, prohibit or regulate the use by any person of the telecommunications facilities of a Canadian carrier for the provision of unsolicited telecommunications to the extent that the commission considers it necessary to prevent undue inconvenience or nuisance, giving due regard to freedom of expression.”

For more on how the national DNCL will work, click here to be redirected to the CRTC page, Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules framework and the National Do Not Call List.


Online registration for telemarketers and consumers

New and revised unsolicited telecommunications rules

Filed by Deanne Gage,


Deanne Gage