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.