August 03, 2008: Canada Launches Telemarketer Do-Not-Call List

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OTTAWA -- Canadians will be able to avoid unsolicited telemarketer calls by registering with the national do-not-call list in exactly two months, the federal telecommunications regulator confirmed Wednesday.

Consumers will be able to register for the list either by phone or online starting Sept. 30. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission warned calls will not stop immediately upon registration, as telemarketers have 31 days to update their calling lists.

Exceptions to the list include calls from charities, political parties, polling companies, newspapers selling subscriptions, and organizations with which the consumer has an existing business relationship.

Those registered with the list will also be able to file a complaint with a yet-to-be-named third-party investigator if they are still receiving calls from an unexempt organization after the 31-day grace period.

Telemarketers found in violation of the list could face fines of up to $1,500 for individuals and up to $15,000 for corporations.

The CRTC first broached the subject of a national do not call list in 2004 to complement the current regulations requiring telemarketers to keep individual, company-specific lists.

The regulator set out rules for creation and operation of the list in July 2007 and awarded Bell Canada a five-year contract to operate the list later that year.

Canadians will be able to add their land line, cell or fax numbers on the national do-not-call list online at or by calling 1-866-580-DNCL (3625). For TTY service only (for the hearing impaired), the toll-free number will be 1-888-DNCL-TTY (1-888-362-5889).

The telemarketing industry has been critical of the list, specifically the online registration. The concern is that hackers will be able to upload entire phone books to the list.


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