In Canada, if you phone someone, is there a way to make it illegal for them to record the call? For example if someone says they don't want to be recorded, can a company still legally record the call?

I ask because if someone misspeaks (or makes a mistake) on a call can it be held against them in court? For example if someone says "I was sick in bed on the 21st so I wouldn't know of Bob was in the area at the time" but then realize you were sick on the 22nd.

If relevant, this is a work related call to a government agency.


3 Answers 3


Invasion of privacy is treated in R.S.C section 184. 184 (1) outlaws "interception" just like US law, and subsection 2 enumerates the exceptions, (2a) specifically identifying

a person who has the consent to intercept, express or implied, of the originator of the private communication or of the person intended by the originator thereof to receive it

that is, Canada is a one-party consent nation. I do not find any mechanism for legally overriding this permission.

The use of such recording as evidence is sort of orthogonal, and would be better treated in a separate question on mis-statements.

  • +1, recording is fine always as long as you're an active party in the conversation and you consent to the conversation being recorded.
    – user900
    Apr 4, 2016 at 20:12

I don't know the laws in Canada, however, in Australia all parties must agree to the recoding of a conversation that is carried by a telecommunications carrier.

Notwithstanding, you do not make telephone calls under oath - the recording can prove that you said what you said, it can't prove:

  • that it was true
  • that you believed it to be true
  • that you believed it to be false
  • that you understood the question
  • etc.
  • As far as I know, this is about the same thing in Canada as well.
    – Zizouz212
    Feb 1, 2016 at 15:33
  • One party consent is the law in Canada.
    – user900
    Apr 4, 2016 at 20:10

In Canada, There is a general prohibition against interception of private communications of others by use of electronic or other devices. The Criminal Code provides that everyone who, by any electro-magnetic, acoustic, mechanical, or other device, willfully intercepts a private communication, may be imprisoned for up-to five years. The Criminal Code also grants a punitive tort award of up-to $5,000 if the aggrieved person has not commenced a separate civil proceeding.

The exception: consent The exception is when there is consent by at least one of the parties involved in the communication. The Code provides that the offence does not apply to a person who has the consent of the person who originates a private conversation or the person intended to receive it. This consent can be explicit or implied. Implied consent exists if you are actually a party to the conversation. In 1993, Parliament further clarified the meaning of consent by adding a section which states that when a private communication is originated by more than one person or is intended to be received by more than one person, consent to the “interception” can be given by any one of those persons.

  • Can you provide a link or at least a citation for the code you paraphrase?
    – feetwet
    Mar 14, 2018 at 20:35

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