OTTAWA-GATINEAU, March 27, 2015 /CNW/ - The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today provided further guidance for entities who call voters, or that engage others to do so, during a federal election, including guidance on who must register with the Voter Contact Registry and on what will be the required pieces of identification. The CRTC also set out the factors that it will consider when setting the penalty amounts for violations relating to the Registry.
Political entities, including candidates and political parties, corporations, trade associations and other persons or groups using calling service providers to call voters, either live or using an automatic dialing and announcing device (often referred to as robocalls), will need to register with the CRTC within 48 hours of making the first call during an election or by-election.
In addition, anyone using their own internal services to make calls to voters using an automatic dialing and announcing device will have to register with the CRTC within 48 hours of making the first call during an election or by-election. With the exception of third parties who are corporations or groups, those who make live calls to voters using their own internal services will not have to register.
Registrants will need to provide a copy of a piece of identification issued from a federal, provincial or territorial government, or international equivalent. The identification must include the registrant's name and photo, and be accompanied by an attestation from a notary. Example of valid types of identification include a driver's licence, provincial health card, Secure Certificate of Indian Status, Canadian Forces identity card, permanent residency card, valid Canadian or foreign passport or NEXUS card.
Registrants will also have to provide a copy of a piece of identification to a calling service provider before entering into an agreement for voter contact calling services, and again when authorizing the first call to be made under the agreement.
Although calling service providers will need to register with the CRTC, they do not need to provide a copy of a piece of identification when filing their Registration Notice. Those who hire calling service providers are encouraged to ensure that they are aware of the rules.
The CRTC will work to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Voter Contact Registry, and will be able to impose monetary penalties, ranging from a maximum of $1,500 for individuals to $15,000 for corporations for each violation. Factors that will help determine the amount of a penalty include:
- the nature and scope of the violation
- any benefit that the person obtained from the commission of the violation
- the person's or group's ability to pay the penalty
- whether the person or group has a history of previous violations, and
- any other relevant factors.
The Voter Contact Registry will be in place for the next federal election.
- The CRTC is responsible for establishing and maintaining a Voter Contact Registry during federal elections.
- Certain entities and parties who call voters during a federal election will have to register with the CRTC no later than 48 hours after the first call is made.
- Registrants will need to provide a copy of a piece of identification issued from a federal, provincial or territorial government, or international equivalent, which includes the registrant's name and photo.
- The CRTC has set out the factors that it will consider when setting the penalty amounts for violations of the registry rules.
- Factors were set following a public process launched in November 2014 (Compliance and Enforcement Notice of Consultation CRTC 2014-598).
- Registration notices filed with the CRTC will be published on the CRTC website as soon as feasible 30 days after polling day.
"Once the Voter Contact Registry is up and running, our objective will be to promote compliance with the new rules to help protect Canadians from rogue or misleading telephone calls during a federal election. The information we have made available today will help those intending to make calls to prepare. The Commission is implementing the regime entrusted to it by Parliament pursuant to Bill C-23, the Fair Elections Act."
Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC
Compliance and Enforcement Information Bulletin 2015-110
Compliance and Enforcement Regulatory Policy CRTC 2015‑109
Information about the Voter Contact Registry
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SOURCE Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
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