So according to a story in the Globe and Mail, Ottawa is apparently going to start having telemarketers underwrite the cost of enforcing the national Do Not Call List. It seems that our federal government plans to consult with the telemarketing industry in the coming months and implement a permanent funding mechanism to take effect April 1 of next year.
Junk Calls, an endless stream
Great concept, making the offender responsible for the cost of policing themselves. After all, why should the taxpayer continuously be expected to foot the bill to police industry. I understand the reasoning behind society having to cover the cost to police criminals, plain and simple they are criminals and its not like we can expect them to fund efforts to arrest, convict, and imprison themselves ( try collecting those dues…..). However, legitimate industry and business is another matter. When there is talk of impending government regulation for a specific sector of business we often hear from that particular group that they would much prefer self regulation over the government imposed version. Typically the argument will be made that the vast majority of the group is not the problem, that generally members respect and abide by the rules and common sense, and that excessive regulations will add to the costs of doing business. All good arguments, and for the most case very true. However, on occasion the government has no choice but to step in when an industry proves incapable of regulating itself (yes, I said it, more government regulation), however why should the taxpayer be expected to shoulder the financial burden. After all, the industry itself is responsible for the problem and even if it were to effectively self regulate there would be an associated cost to its members.
So, maybe, just maybe this latest tact will help eliminate some of the dozens, if not hundreds of junk calls the average Canadian is subjected to.
Now while it is a good start, it simply does not go far enough. The current Do Not Call legislation effectively exempts a number of groups from the rules, charities, newspapers, pollsters and survey companies, and you guessed it, politicians and political parties. All of these groups will tell you that these calls are absolutely essential to fund raising, information gathering for their group or organization, or simply staying in business. Again probably true, however the same argument could be made for virtually any operation performing outgoing calls, yet none of them are blessed with exemption from the rules. It appears from the exempt list that the government covered itself (politicians and pollsters) and any allies that they felt might cause a backlash if not exempted (charities and newspapers), but does that really surprise anyone, its par for the course.
So if our government really wants to get serious about providing Canadians some relief from constant phone ring during their personal time at home, the regulations should blanket ALL call, no exceptions.