CRTC asks telephone service providers to empower Canadians against nuisance calls

News Release

November 7, 2016 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today took measures to better protect the privacy of Canadians by reducing the number of unsolicited and illegitimate calls, also known as nuisance calls, that they receive.

Telecommunications service providers must develop technical solutions, within 90 days, to block illegitimate nuisance calls within their networks. Once approved by the CRTC, these solutions will ensure a minimum level of protection for all Canadians.

To help Canadians better filter unwanted calls, the CRTC is also encouraging telecommunications service providers to offer their subscribers call management features. Service providers must report to the Commission within 180 days with details on the filtering services they offer or propose to offer to their customers.

The CRTC is prepared to take further action if telecommunications service providers do not take sufficient measures to protect Canadians against unwanted calls.

The CRTC will issue, in the near future, a follow-up decision regarding solutions to address the use of caller ID spoofing.

Quick Facts

  • The CRTC has clarified that there are no legal or regulatory barriers prohibiting service providers from offering filtering services to Canadians.
  • Filtering services screen calls on behalf of Canadians who subscribe to them, similar to email filters.
  • Telecommunications service providers have been tasked with developing technical solutions to block unwanted calls through the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee (an industry-led working group).
  • In 2015, the CRTC initiated a consultation to better understand the solutions that are currently offered to help Canadians manage unsolicited telecommunications and illegitimate calls.
  • Caller ID spoofing occurs when telemarketers hide or misrepresent their identity by displaying fictitious phone numbers when making calls.
  • The CRTC continues to work with its domestic and international partners to address global threats related to unsolicited and illegitimate telemarketing calls.


“We strive to ensure all Canadians have adequate and reliable protection when using the communication system. In this case, telecommunications service providers are in the best position to develop and implement call management solutions for the millions of Canadians tired of receiving nuisance calls, just as they have done for e-mail and text messaging. We encourage Canadians to contact their service provider to find out what solutions they offer to protect themselves against nuisance calls.”

-Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC

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