The bad news (as I see it) is that there are some exemptions. Even if we sign up, we'll still get calls—whether we want them or not—from charities, political parties, polling companies and companies with whom we have existing business relationships.
I can see the argument for allowing charities to make fundraising calls, but I still disagree. When I give to a charity, I want as much of my donation as possible to go to the cause, not to pay for fundraising. I suspect that a lot of money is wasted on competition between charities.
To plug the holes in the do-not-call legislation, Michael Geist has created a free service called iOptOut that provides automatic opt-out notification to exempted organizations. The Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) also has a Do Not Contact Service. It covers mail, telephone, and fax. Note: When the National Do Not Call List comes into effect it will supersede the CMA's telephone service but not its mail service.
Don't call me, I'll call you
At the end of the day, I prefer an opt-in arrangement rather than an opt-out one. And if nobody opts in? Well, I'd say that's just fine.
Consider the U.S. experience:
What do you think? How has the do-not-call system worked in the U.S.? Are the exemptions in the Canadian system warranted?