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Privacy Commissioner Congratulates Government on Introduction of Do Not Call List Legislation

Ottawa, December 17, 2004 – Privacy Commissioner of Canada Jennifer Stoddart today congratulated Industry Minister David L. Emerson on the recent introduction of legislation to create a national Do Not Call List for telemarketers.

"I think this is a great step forward for privacy. Our Office has been concerned about this issue for some time and we have certainly heard from many members of the public who are frustrated by intrusive phone calls. We welcome this initiative," said Ms. Stoddart.

Legislation that would amend the Telecommunications Act to allow for the establishment of the Do Not Call List was tabled this week in the House of Commons. Canadian consumers would be invited to register their phone numbers on a list established by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) that telemarketers would be compelled to check regularly. The amendments would allow the CRTC to impose substantial penalties on any telemarketers who ignored the list.

"I very much look forward to hearing Parliamentarians' views on the proposed list and possible exemptions during debate in the House," said Ms. Stoddart. "From our point of view, the fewer exemptions the better. We are following this issue closely on behalf of Canadians, and will be consulting with the CRTC and the Minister of Industry on establishing privacy-protective rules and protocols for the Do Not Call List."

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For more information, please contact:

Renée Couturier
Media Relations
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
Tel: (613) 995-0103
E-mail: rcouturier@priv.gc.ca
www.priv.gc.ca

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