04/27/2009

Candidates for municipal office in Ontario are now exempt from the provisions of the National Do Not Call List (DNCL).
Background:

On April 20, 2009, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued “Telecom Public Notice 2008-14” which sets out modifications to the rules governing unsolicited call made by municipal candidates for elected office. The CRTC has now concluded, “that telemarketing telecommunications made by or on behalf of non-party candidates should also be exempt from the National DNCL Rules.”

The CRTC has adopted the following change to the National DNCL Rules (Part II) with the applicable change in italics below:

3.1 In addition to the exemption set out in section 3(d), the National DNCL Rules do not apply to a telemarketing telecommunication made by or on behalf of a candidate as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Canada Elections Act or a candidate under provincial law for the purposes of a provincial or municipal election, or by or on behalf of the official campaign of such a candidate.

On September 30, 2008, the CRTC launched the National Do Not Call List (DNCL) which imposed enforceable restrictions on organisations and individuals placing unsolicited telephone calls to Canadians who had registered on the List. Exemptions from this restriction were granted to political parties for a municipal election but only if the calls are made on behalf of a registered political party under provincial law.

In Ontario, with no municipal political parties, this represented an unacceptable infringement on democratic activities at the municipal level in Ontario. In early September AMO President Peter Hume wrote to the federal government and the Chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, urging that steps be taken to address this issue. In response, the CRTC agreed to review these provisions and their effect on municipal candidates. The issuing of new rules to include Ontario municipal candidates responds to the original concerns AMO raised.  

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