Costs of investigating Do Not Call violators passed on to telemarketers

OTTAWA – Telemarketers will soon be asked to pony up for the costs of investigating their own industry.

The Conservatives are announcing that they will transfer the costs of probes and enforcement of the Do Not Call List to the industry itself.

The industry already pays for administering the Do Not Call List, which includes about 10.6 million registered phone and fax numbers.

“The government’s taking steps to make sure it’s sustainable in the long term and will not be funded by the taxpayers, but is instead funded by the telemarketers,” said Mike Lake, parliamentary secretary to the Industry minister.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will consult with the telemarketing companies this fall on how fees will be levied.

It has imposed more than $2.1 million in fines over the three years to firms that violated the rules.

A recent Acrobat Research and Advanis survey on the Do Not Call List suggested 78 per cent of Canadians on the list felt they were getting fewer telemarketing calls.

The government did not immediately have an estimate of how much investigations and enforcement currently cost the taxpayer annually.