Paul Dewar fined $7,000 by regulator over election campaign robocalls

OTTAWA – A New Democrat member of Parliament has been fined by Canada’s telecommunications regulator over robocalls made during the last election campaign.

Paul Dewar was fined $7,000 by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission as part of what it calls a wide-ranging investigation.

The CRTC says Dewar co-operated with its investigators and paid the fine as part of a settlement agreement.

Dewar is the member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre, and the party’s foreign affairs critic.

“We appreciate the co-operation we received during our investigations,” Andrea Rosen, the agency’s chief compliance and enforcement officer, said in a statement.

“We expect candidates who are running political campaigns, and telemarketing service providers to put appropriate safeguards in place to ensure compliance with the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules.”

In an unrelated investigation, the firm Strategic Communications Inc. was also fined, and agreed to pay a $10,000 penalty for similar violations.

The CRTC says that in future it expects all candidates running political office, as well as telemarketers, to refrain from making unsolicited robocalls during election campaigns.

In addition to the fines, Dewar and the firm agreed to a comprehensive compliance that includes: an education and training program for volunteers and employees; appropriate compliance measures when making calls; and appropriate record keeping.

Dewar was not immediately available for comment.