Regulator to Canadians: How much should voter registry violators pay?

Canadians are being asked for their thoughts about how violators should be penalized for contravening the new voter contact registry.

OTTAWA — Canadians are being asked for their thoughts about how violators should be penalized for contravening the new voter contact registry.

The country’s telecom regulator has issued a call for comments on its proposals for imposing penalties, which would take a number of factors into account, such as the nature of the violation and the ability of violators to pay.

Under changes enacted in June, individuals and companies wanting to contact voters during a federal election will be required to register with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

The government gave the CRTC the authority to impose fines ranging from a maximum of $1,500 for individuals to $15,000 for corporations every time they make a rogue or misleading call.

The changes to the Canada Elections Act and the Telecommunications Act came on the heels of the so-called robocall scandal, when automated calls were made during the 2011 federal election, allegedly to suppress voting.

The CRTC says it has compiled a list of factors that could be considered in setting fine amounts, including the number and frequency of complaints and violations and whether the violator has a history of committing similar offences.