This is going to get interesting. John Gustavson, President and chief executive officer of the Canadian Marketing Association, has a letter to the editor in the Ottawa Citizen today. He says:

Despite columnist Michael Geist’s assertion to the contrary, the Canadian Marketing Association is fully in favour of a national do-not-call list and first asked the federal government to implement one in 2001.

When the national list goes into effect this fall, organizations that you have chosen to do business with will still be able to call you — once.

They must also respect any request you make not to call you again pitching goods and services. This strikes a reasonable balance between consumer choice and protecting the jobs of 160,000 Canadians employed in the industry. It is also a model that has worked well in the United States with high consumer satisfaction and support for their do-not-call registry.

John Gustavson, Don Mills
President and chief executive officer
Canadian Marketing Association

It is true that the do-not-call list does indeed allow organizations that you’ve had business with in the last 18 months to call you. If they do so, you certainly are entitled to inform them that you do not wish to be called again. They must honour your request. This is all true.

What’s squirrelly about it is he makes no allowance for the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. It appears Gustavson is being selective in the rules he cites because I can find no reference allowing an organization to call you for the first time if you’ve already withdrawn permission.