What Part of Do-Not-Call Does the Government Not Understand?

So begins Tyler Hamilton’s devastating article in the Toronto Star on the current state of Canadian do-not-call legislation. Hamilton paints a bleak picture of legislation designed to protect consumers that is being slowly eviscerated by lobbying pressure from charitable groups and the Canadian Marketing Association.

Those groups are pushing for exemptions that would effectively render the bill meaningless by creating a do-not-call list that "doesn’t stop a vast majority of the unsolicited calls we already receive."

This turn of events is troubling beyond the fading prospect that the unwanted marketing calls at dinner time will finally stop. It also bodes ill for future reforms that would seemingly be "no brainers" such as anti-spam legislation, which may well run into similar lobbying pressures. As for a balanced approach to copyright reform? That issue is destined to bring out lobbying pressure the likes of which is rarely seen in Ottawa. If government is serious about ensuring that the public interest is represented on these issues, the time has come to provide much needed support to current and future groups who seek to speak on behalf of the depressingly under-represented voice of the public.

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