CRTC rolls out new rules for phone calls during federal elections

Canada’s telecommunication regulator has rolled out new rules for people who make political phone calls during federal election campaigns.

OTTAWA — Canada’s telecommunication regulator has rolled out new rules for people who make political phone calls during federal election campaigns.

Candidates and political parties, corporations, trade associations and others who make either live calls or pre-recorded robocalls must register with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission at least two days before making their first call during an election or byelection.

The move is meant to avoid the false or misleading calls that plagued the last federal election and resulted in the criminal conviction of former Conservative staffer Michael Sona.

Sona was the only person to be charged after some 6,700 automated phone calls were placed on the morning of the 2011 federal election with misleading information on how to vote.

The new CRTC rules require anyone who intends to call voters during a federal election to register with the voter contact registry.

They will need to provide a valid photo ID — such as a driver’s licence, provincial health care or passport — and an attestation from a notary.

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