Canada’s Do Not Call List on life support

The national program to block unwanted telemarketing calls and faxes is being thrown a lifeline by the federal government.

Canada’s Do Not Call List (DNCL) program which is run by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) ran out of cash on March 31, according to a report by the Globe and Mail.

A stop-gap measure designed to provide short-term funding to allow the program to continue its investigation and enforcement activities for the rest of the fiscal year has been made available by the government, the report said.

It seems ironic but the DNCL appears to have run out of funds just as Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation was making a big splash in the news. The regulations don’t just impact e-mail. All electronic messages are covered by the law, including instant messages, a telephone account, or any similar account.

The government also announced funding for the creation and operation of a spam reporting centre (known as “The Freezer”).

Canada’s DNCL program was created in 2008 as an effort to cut down the number of annoying unsolicited telemarketing phone calls that consumers receive.

Most people who signed up for the program were mostly happy with the DNCL.

However, there were small firms who complained that the program rules were “unfair and unclear”. Some small businesses also said the DNCL was costly and ineffective.

Reports yesterday said that the exact amount of DNCL interim funding will only be made public when the federal budget’s supplementary estimates are brought before Parliament later this year. The money is expected to be taken from the government’s consolidated revenue fund.

“We are working with the government and the partners to explore funding solutions to establish an ongoing source of funding,” CRTC spokeswoman Patricia Valladao was quoted by the Globe as saying.

She said the CRTC is committed to continue the operation of the DNCL.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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