Originally published in Blakes Bulletin on Information
Technology, May 2008
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications
Commission (CRTC) regulates telecommunications in Canada
pursuant to the Telecommunications Act. In June 2006,
An Act to Amend the Telecommunications Act (Bill C-37)
came into force, granting the CRTC the power to establish a
National Do Not Call List (National DNCL) in Canada. This Act
empowers the CRTC to administer databases for a National DNCL
or to delegate its powers in relation to establishing and
maintaining such a list in Canada. The CRTC initiated several
proceedings and is still in the process of examining the
implementation of the National DNCL; it is not yet certain when
it will be operational, but the CRTC estimates September 30,
In 2007, the CRTC set up a comprehensive framework for the
creation of this National DNCL, which included the rules with
respect to this list, the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules,
Telemarketing Rules and Automatic Dialling-Announcing Device
At the end of 2007, the CRTC announced that it had awarded a
five-year contract to Bell Canada, making it the
"operator" of the National DNCL. The operator of the
National DNCL will be responsible for such tasks as:
registering telephone numbers,
providing the updated versions of the list to
These operations will be funded by the fees that
telemarketers will pay to subscribe to the National DNCL.
Furthermore, in January 2008, the CRTC announced that it would
delegate the investigative powers for complaints relating to
the National DNCL and telemarketing complaints. This third
party will be chosen pursuant to a request for proposals. All
telemarketers will pay a fee to the investigator to cover its
The National DNCL will be a nationwide registry that will
allow Canadians to reduce the number of unsolicited
telemarketing calls they receive. Currently, each telemarketer
has its own "do-not-call list", for which Canadians
must register separately to avoid unsolicited calls. With the
National DNCL, Canadians will simply have to register their
number on this one list. There will be no cost to consumers to
register on the National DNCL list. Certain organizations will
be exempt from the National DNCL, such as registered charities,
political parties and businesses with whom a business
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