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Newsletter. Issue 2007-14. 07-07-07
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Health & Wellness

Do Not Call List Rules to Protect Consumers

OTTAWA, July 3 /CNW/ - Canada's national Do Not Call Registry inched closer to reality today as the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced the Do Not Call List ground rules.

Today's CRTC's decision was welcomed by consumer groups as it provides consumers with a reasonable outline of what to expect from Canada's Do Not Call list and allows the search for the operator of the list to go ahead. The list operator will register names on the list and collect fees from the telemarketing industry to pay for it. Consumers will not be charged to place their names on the Do Not Call list.

John Lawford, Counsel with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), stated, "Consumers have been waiting for this list for too long already but these rules are a reasonable compromise between consumers' right to be left alone and businesses' desires to sell services over the telephone. Hopefully we can get a list operator and get this going."

Lawford noted that when the list does come into effect, consumers will have to be on their toes. "You will have to re-register on the Do Not Call list every three years, which is a great inconvenience to consumers. And it will take a while for people to understand that the Do Not Call list will not stop charities from calling you nor companies with which you have done business in the last 18 months." On the other hand, Lawford noted, the CRTC chose to tighten up the "existing business relationship" definition in this decision, limiting businesses relying on the exemption to their own customers only, not customers of any of their affiliates. "For example, if you are on the Do Not Call list" said Lawford, "the phone company can't call you about satellite or Internet service if you aren't already a customer of that service. Likewise, your bank can't call you about insurance offered by their insurance company, just because you are a bank customer."


Speeding And Alcohol Contribute To Weekend Traffic Fatalities

ORILLIA, ON, July 3 /CNW/ -
Of the six people who died on roads patrolled by the Ontario Provincial Police over the Canada Day Weekend, four, including one motorcyclist, were related to speeding; one person wasn't wearing a seatbelt and three were alcohol related. Over the same weekend last year, there were seven deaths on OPP-patrolled roads.

In addition, officers stopped three separate incidents of street racing, two on Highway 400 yesterday and four motorcycles that were travelling up to 200 kilometres per hour on the Queen Elizabeth Way in the Toronto area Friday. There have been 225 traffic deaths so far in 2007, up from 186 at the same time last year despite the fact the OPP has issued 21,986 more speeding tickets this year than in 2006.

"Drivers still don't seem to be getting the message," OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino said. "It's disconcerting and frustrating to see that some irresponsible individuals continue to ignore the rules of the road and put themselves and other motorists at risk.

"The good news is that the majority of the driving public appears to be as fed up as we are. We received numerous calls over the weekend from drivers identifying street racers and others who were driving too aggressively for the traffic conditions. We appreciate their help and encourage them to continue to call (*)OPP ((*)677) or 911 and let us know about these drivers. We will continue to crack down 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

In one incident, on Highway 401 westbound near Cambridge motorists called (*)OPP to report an erratic driver. Cambridge OPP intercepted the car and charged the driver with impaired driving when his breathalyzer reading was 170 mgs, twice the legal limit. He was also charged with possession of marijuana. The driver is currently under six separate suspensions and this was his fourth impaired charge.

"In Central Region alone, the OPP laid 973 speeding charges," Chief Superintendent Bill Grodzinski, Commander of the Highway Traffic Section, said. "Of that total, 48 were charged with being at least 50 kilometres over the limit; the highest was 67 kilometres over. Under new legislation coming into effect soon, we will be able to seize those vehicles and issue immediate
license suspensions for up to seven days. Perhaps then people will slow down and stop street racing.

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