New Obligations of MPs Under the Lobbying Act

Article 9 / 11 , Vol 33 No 4 (Winter)

New Obligations of MPs Under the Lobbying Act

In response to a debate about the access that former MPs have in the corridors of power, Treasury Board President Stockwell Day announced that the rules for designated public office holders would be expanded to include MPs, Senators, and the senior staff in the Office of the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons and in the Senate. After a comparatively short public comment period, the new rules went into effect in concert with the return of Parliament on September 20th, 2010. This article looks at the results of some of the changes.

Members of Parliament and Senators now have very specific obligations under the Lobbying Act, which apply to all designated public office holders (DPOHs). The three “R”s of Lobbying in Canada are: Register, Record and Report. Only the second applies to DPOHs. MPs and Senators do not have to report on their activities and who they have met with. MPs and Senators are required to keep records about what pre-arranged oral communications they have with registered lobbyists. They are required to keep these records so that they can verify the reports of lobbyists when asked by the Lobbying Commissioner. Lobbyists are the only ones who are obligated to register their lobbying activity and subsequently report their pre-arranged meetings.

Some observations on the State of Lobbying in Canada

Article 10 / 12 , Vol 33 No 2 (Summer)

Some observations on the State of Lobbying in Canada

Lobbying is a legal activity and indeed an important part of the democratic right of individual Canadians to petition the government. In so doing, Canadians inform debate from many different perspectives and this should lead to better public policy. Concerns about the influence of lobbyists have led to considerable regulation of lobbying including changes stemming from the Federal Accountability Act. This article looks at some of the issues facing lobbyists and those who regulate lobbying.