Yesterday, the Government of Canada formally responded to the
May 14, 2012 Parliamentary Standing Committee on Access to
Information, Privacy and Ethics report with respect to the
Statutory Review of the Lobbying Act. Under the Act, a
review is required every five years. While "concluding the Act
is generally working well in accordance with its
objectives,"1 the Committee had issued eleven
recommendations for changes to the Lobbying Act. In
response the Government of Canada, without indicating it would
pursue any immediate legislative action to modify the Act,
addressed each of the committee's recommendations. In doing so
it emphasized its desire to "improve the transparency and
accountability aims of the legislation while maintaining balance
amongst the Act's objectives."2
1. Full Support
The Government indicated it was supportive of Committee
recommendations #5 and #9.
Recommendation 5: Ensure that monthly
communications reports contain the names of all in‐house
lobbyists who attended oral pre‐arranged meetings [in
addition to the senior reporting officer].
Recommendation 9: The five‐year ban
should be retained, and post‐employment restrictions on
public office holders should be interpreted and administered by a
2. Qualified Support
The Government offered qualified support of several
recommendations by agreeing with their intent but suggesting it
will investigate means of implementation that will "minimize
Recommendation 1: All public servants serving
in a Director General's position, or serving in a more senior
position than Director General, should now be considered Designated
Public Office Holders and held subject to all applicable laws
governing this designation.
Recommendation 3: Eliminate the distinction
between in‐house lobbyists (corporations) and in house
Recommendation 4: Require in‐house
lobbyists to file a registration, along with the senior officer of
the company or organization.
Recommendation 6: Allow board members
(corporation and association directors), partners and sole
proprietors to be included in an in‐house lobbyist's
Recommendation 7: Impose an explicit ban on the
receipt of gifts from lobbyists.
Recommendation 8: Prohibit an individual or
entity from lobbying the government on a subject matter, if they
have a contract to provide advice to a public office holder on the
same subject matter.
3. Lack of Support
The Government indicated it will "take note" of
Committee recommendations #2, # 10, and #11, which suggests it is
unlikely to address them at this time or the near
Recommendation 2: Remove the 'significant
part of duties' threshold for in‐house lobbyists.
Recommendation 10: Enshrine the administrative
review process in the Act.
Recommendation 11: Empower the Commissioner of
Lobbying to impose administrative monetary penalties. Perhaps
consider temporary bans for breaches of the law (as in the
Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec provincial legislation).
Though the Government has indicated it will support certain
recommendations and further investigate others, it has not outlined
a legislative timeline or process for implementation. Changes to
the Act will not take place until new legislation is
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