The CRTC publishes citations for violations under the Voter Contact Registry

OTTAWA–GATINEAU, Aug. 29, 2016 /CNW/ - The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today published notice of 10 citation letters issued by its Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer for alleged violations under the Voter Contact Registry during the 2015 federal election.

The citations are for failing to file a registration notice.

Three entities that received a citation letter are calling service providers (Touchlogic, Servicom LLC and Telepoll Market Research), while the other seven citation letters were issued to persons or groups representing political candidates during their campaign: Sabin Gaudreault (Bloc Québécois), Chandra Arya (Liberal Party of Canada) and James Cumming, Rob Clarke, Ninder Thind, John Barlow and Alex Nuttall (Conservative Party of Canada).

Quick Facts

  • The CRTC is responsible for establishing and maintaining the Voter Contact Registry during federal elections and by-elections and to investigate possible violations.
  • The Voter Contact Registry is intended to protect Canadians from rogue or misleading telephone calls during the federal election, and to ensure that those who contact voters during an election do so transparently.
  • Among the measures at its disposal, the CRTC can send warning letters, issue citations or impose penalties of up to $1,500 per violation per day for individuals and up to $15,000 per violation per day for a corporation.
  • A total of 1,460 registrations were filed with the CRTC for the 42nd General Election, including 554 from calling service providers and 906 from other persons or groups.
  • The 42nd General Election was held from August 2, 2015 to October 19, 2015.

Quote

"During the 2015 federal election, our objective was to ensure those making calls followed the new requirements under the Voter Contact Registry. The citations inform recipients that it is alleged that a violation was committed. We expect that they will take the necessary measures to comply fully with the registry should they want to call voters during a future federal election or by-election." 

Manon Bombardier, CRTC Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer

Associated Links

Voter Contact Registry - Backgrounder

Why was this registry put in place?

  • Elections Canada received more than 40,000 messages and complaints about calls initiated using automatic dialing-announcing devices (ADAD), otherwise known as robocalls during the 2011 federal election.
  • As an example, voters reported receiving both ADAD and live calls from individuals claiming to represent Elections Canada to advise them that their poll location had changed.
  • Those concerns about fraudulent, rogue and misleading calls to voters during federal election campaigns prompted Parliament to pass the Fair Elections Act in 2014.

Fair Elections Act

  • The Fair Elections Act amended the Canada Elections Act and Telecommunications Act to give the CRTC the responsibility to establish, maintain and enforce a voter contact registry. The registry is intended to "help protect Canadians from rogue and misleading telephone calls during elections, and to help ensure that those who contact voters during an election do so transparently."
  • The Voter Contact Registry came into force on August 2, 2015.
  • The 42nd general Election that took place in October 2015 was the first to be covered by the registry.

Who needed to register?

  • Any individual or group using their own internal services to make calls to voters using an automatic dialing-announcing device had to register with the Voter Contact Registry on the CRTC's website within 48 hours of making the first call.
  • Anyone (including candidates and political parties, corporations, trade associations and other individuals or groups) using the services of a calling service provider to call voters during the election had to register with the registry within 48 hours of making their first call. The calling service providers who made the calls on behalf of another person or groups also had to register.

In case of violations under the Voter Contact Registry, what can the CRTC do?

  • If Canadians suspect they have been called by someone who was not properly registered with the Voter Contact Registry, they can make a complaint to the CRTC.
  • The CRTC was given the authority to investigate any alleged violation of the Voter Contact Registry and impose penalties.
  • Among the measures at its disposal, the CRTC can send warning letters, issue citations or impose monetary penalties. Penalties can be as much as $1,500 for individuals and $15,000 for corporations or groups, for each violation per day.

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SOURCE Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

For further information: Media Relations: (819) 997-9403; General Inquiries: (819) 997-0313, Toll-free 1 (877) 249-CRTC (2782), TTY (819) 994-0423

RELATED LINKS
http://www.crtc.gc.ca

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