OTTAWA and GATINEAU, QC, Aug. 3, 2015 /CNW/ - The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today announced that the legal requirements regarding the Voter Contact Registry are now in effect. As such, the CRTC is accepting registrations for the federal election, which is taking place from August 2, 2015 to October 19, 2015.
Anyone (including candidates and political parties, corporations, trade associations and other persons or groups) using the services of a calling service provider to call voters during the election will have to register with the CRTC within 48 hours of making the first call. The calling service provider also will have to register with the CRTC.
In addition, anyone using their own internal services to make calls to voters using an automatic dialing and announcing device (often referred to as robocalls) will have to register with the CRTC within 48 hours of making the first call.
Registrations to the Voter Contact Registry must be submitted at: https://services.crtc.gc.ca/pro/VCR
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. In other words, candidates, nomination contestants, registered political parties, registered electoral district associations and individuals who use their own internal services to make live calls to voters will NOT have to register with the CRTC.
Registrants 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 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 has the authority to impose monetary penalties for each violation of up to $1,500 for individuals and up to $15,000 for corporations. 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 compliance with the Voter Contact Registry and the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules, and
- any other relevant factors.
These factors will be applied with a view to promote compliance, and not to punish non-compliance.
- 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 have to register with the CRTC no later than 48 hours after the first call is made.
- Registrants 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 voter contact registry rules.
- Registration notices filed with the CRTC will be published on the CRTC website as soon as feasible 30 days after polling day.
- Canadians who think the Voter Contact Registry requirements are not being followed can submit a complaint at: http://crtc.gc.ca/eng/question.htm
"Our objective is to ensure those making calls are familiar with the new Voter Contact Registry requirements, given that we will have the ability to impose monetary penalties for violations. 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
Information about the Voter Contact Registry
Compliance and Enforcement Information Bulletin CRTC 2015-110 (identification requirements)
Compliance and Enforcement Regulatory Policy CRTC 2015-109 (setting penalty amounts)
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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, Ask a question or make a complaint