The phone at our house rings a lot most evenings with unfamiliar numbers despite the fact we're registered on Canada's National Do-Not-Call list. Thank God for call display.
The list exempts companies you've done business with in the past, charities and registered political parties from complying with your request for telephonic peace and quiet.
But the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission still has rules governing whether or not political parties can contact you and now it's saying the governing Conservatives have violated those rules.
The Conservatives' executive director, Dan Hilton, got a warning letter Thursday from Andrea Rosen, the CRTC's chief compliance and enforcement officer, over its maintenance of internal do-not-call lists.
The internal lists are supposed to keep track of those people who tell political parties that they don't want to hear from them.
The CRTC has been investigating a complaint that the party is not adhering to the spirit of the policy by keeping two different do-not-call lists; one for calls made for solicitation purposes and the other for calls made for voter outreach or identification, according to the letter.
The CRTC said maintaining two lists is offside and there's a lack of clarity in the kinds of scripts the party authorizes for its calls.
Rosen ordered the Conservatives to create a single do-not-call list, fix the process it uses to put people on the list and make sure third-party telemarketers it hires comply with the rules. The party was given until Sept. 11 to confirm its compliance.
The letter said the CRTC had previously received "a significant number of complaints" about the party's calling practices, which were "satisfactorily resolved."
Conservative spokesman Fred DeLorey told the Ottawa Citizen via email that the party will make changes.
"Unlike the Liberals who were fined nearly $5,000 by CRTC for placing misleading robocalls, this was simply an administrative issue with our live calling," DeLorey said. "CRTC informed us of this issue and we have made the changes to our processes. There have been no fines or sanctions because of this administrative issue."
The Citizen said the CRTC doesn't normally reveal the names of complainants but noted Oakville, Ont., resident Mark Obermeyer has complained for years about calls from the Conservatives asking for money, despite his requests that they leave him alone.
"I am fully convinced that the calls are continuing to this day, because I had one a few days ago," he told the Citizen on Thursday. "I am dubious at best. I don't have a lot of faith in the CRTC's intent to enforce."