National Do
Not Call List’s

(DNCL) 10-Year

Celebrating a decade-long commitment to protecting Canadians and supporting the telemarketing industry

With more than 13 million Canadian numbers registered and 18,603 telemarketers and clients of telemarketersFootnote 1 registered since 2008, the CRTC will continue to adapt to a constantly changing digital landscape and support legitimate telemarketing practices.

13 million

Canadian numbers registered


telemarketers registered
since 2008

Over the past decade, the National DNCL and overseeing legislation have matured and grown to become an important tool in the telecommunications industry. While it has evolved since implementation, the DNCL will remain a consumer’s choice, but a telemarketer’s responsibility. Browse through the DNCL’s impressive 10-year history.


After a number of decisions and modifications to the Telecommunications Act addressing the growing concern of unwanted calls, in 2005, Parliament gave the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) the power to establish a National Do Not Call List (DNCL) and impose Administrative monetary penalties (AMPs). The following year, the Commission established a framework for dealing with telemarketing calls and other unsolicited telecommunications.Footnote 2 This framework primarily includes the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules (UTRs) which are composed of the Telemarketing Rules, the National DNCL Rules, and the Automatic Dialing-Announcing Device (ADAD) Rules.


Birth of the DNCL: Sept 30

To give Canadians a choice about whether they want to receive telemarketing calls, the CRTC established the DNCL. The response was immediate from both consumers and telemarketers.

These figures were highlighted in the first DNCL yearly report.

6 months later…

  • 6.7 million
    registered numbers
  • 77,000
    complaints of alleged violations
  • 5,800
    telemarketers registered


1st Notice of Violation issued

The DNCL’s growing popularity certainly kept the CRTC busy for months following implementation. In 2009, the CRTC modified the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules (UTRs) and issued its first Notice of Violation.


The CRTC hired a Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer (CCEO) who forged a team to oversee the application of the rules. Thereafter, the CRTC adopted new tools to better enforce the UTRs:

Enforcement tools

  • Citations
  • Warning
  • Negotiated
  • Notices of


International cooperation

The CRTC co-chaired the 1st meeting of the International Do Not Call Network, bringing together 13 telecommunication enforcement agencies from across the globe.

Long Description


  • Canada
  • United States
  • Mexico
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • Ireland
  • Spain
  • France
  • Israel
  • Korea
  • Hong Kong
  • Australia
  • New Zealand


  • Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Japan

The CRTC pursued its first international case with the help of federal Mexican authorities to reach cross-border agreements with Mexican companies.

Busy abroad and at home too, the CRTC completed its first round of on-site inspections across the country. Industry sectors were identified based on Canadian complaints which included the duct cleaning and anti-virus software sales businesses.


No longer funded by taxpayers

Following the establishment of the Unsolicited Telecommunications Fees Regulations, DNCL operations were no longer funded by taxpayers as that responsibility was shifted to telemarketers.

Netherlands, Portugal and Japan join the International Do Not Call Network raising the membership to a total of 16 countries

The same year, the CRTC broadened its list of global partners by welcoming Netherlands, Portugal and Japan to the International Do Not Call Network.


Honeypots implemented

To curb a surge of spoofed calls (placed calls with altered caller ID information), the CRTC began using “honeypots”Footnote 3 to assist in the investigation of alleged violations of the Rules. Thanks to this technique, the CRTC was able to collect information on unsolicited calls in a more precise and productive way.

Always in an effort to reduce the volume of unwanted telemarketing telecommunications, the CRTC proceeded with an important review of the UTRs. One noteworthy change was the reduction of the grace period granted to telemarketers to process requests from consumers to be placed on an organization’s internal do not call list from 31 days to 14.

A welcomed change with the permanent number registration for Canadians

The CRTC implemented a permanent number registration to allow Canadian consumers to remain on the National DNCL without renewing or re-registering their telecommunications numbers.


Protecting Canadians during Federal Elections

As the CRTC continued to handle the DNCL file, Parliament asked the CRTC to set up the Voter Contact Registry, with the goal of ensuring that those who contact voters during an election do so transparently. We have since been more than prepared to handle registrations, complaints and investigate potential violations for all federal elections.


Expanding international efforts

The CRTC continued to equip itself with additional tools to limit unwanted calls, namely by signing Memorandums of Understanding with ten enforcement agencies from around the globe, including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), to share information and intelligence.

Award for Service Excellence in Regulatory Program Delivery

In 2016, the CRTC won an award from the Community of Federal Regulators for Service Excellence in Regulatory Program Delivery for its work on the Voter Contact Registry.


Improving awareness for Canadians

In October 2016, the CRTC, in partnership with the International Institute of Communications, hosted a workshop on combatting spam and other forms of nuisance communications.

In the past several years, the CRTC has placed considerable energy on outreach efforts. In 2015, the CRTC started issuing consumer alerts; in 2016 staff started using social media tools to bring its messages to Canadians and telemarketers. Always striving to innovate, the CRTC published for the first time the 2016 National DNCL report in digital format.

Solutions to block illegitimate nuisance calls

Recognizing Canadians had insufficient means to protect themselves from unwanted, unsolicited and illegitimate telecommunications, the CRTC requested that telecommunications service providers develop technical, call management solutions to block illegitimate nuisance calls within their networks and file reports about their current or forthcoming filtering services.


New operator and redesigned website offering an improved consumer experience

On top of introducing the knock and talk program in 2017, the CRTC awarded a contract for a new operator who developed a more user-friendly website with a new look and feel.

A new report

Again this year, the CRTC is delivering an innovative annual report in digital format allowing Canadians to understand what the CRTC team is doing to protect them from unsolicited telecommunications.

Award for Openness and Transparency

Thanks to its innovative digital 2016-17 DNCL report, the CRTC won a Regulatory Excellence Award for its Contribution to Regulatory Openness and Transparency from the Community of Federal Regulators.

Looking Forward...

Protecting Canadians against unwanted telecommunications is without a doubt a complex task. In the past decade, overseeing the National DNCL has proven to be a challenge, but a surmountable one as made apparent during the past decade. A challenge because as the telemarketing industry evolves in line with the telecommunications sector, new hurdles regularly spring up. The DNCL team must react promptly to understand new technologies to continue to fulfill its important duty of protecting Canadians. It’s difficult to foresee what is around the corner, but one thing that’s certain is that the CRTC will strive to ensure a safe, convenient telemarketing environment for Canadians.

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