On June 12, 2015, the government of Quebec introduced Bill 56
(Lobbying Transparency Act) in the National Assembly. If
adopted, Bill 56 will replace the current legislation governing
lobbying in Quebec (Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Act,
CQLR c T-11.011). Under the present lobbying legislation, any
person, the significant part of whose job or function consists of
lobbying on behalf of an association or other non-profit group,
must be registered by the association or other non-profit group as
a lobbyist. This means that most charities and non-profit
organizations ("NPOs") operating in
Quebec are not required to seek the registration of their staff
unless that person undertakes significant lobbying
on behalf of the charity or NPO.
The passage of Bill 56 will increase significantly the number of
organizations, including charities and NPOs, that will be required
to register their staff as lobbyists. Bill 56 proposes that
any director, officer, or employee of a non-profit group (inclusive
of charities and NPOs under the Income Tax Act (Canada)
and the Taxation Act (Quebec) who lobbies on behalf of
that non-profit group or on behalf of a non-profit group which is
not considered a legal person, but of which the non-profit group is
a member, must be registered as a lobbyist. This rule will
apply whether or not the non-profit group is incorporated and
whether or not the lobbying activities represent a significant
portion of that individual's job function.
Notably, the definition of "lobbying" has been
expanded in Bill 56 to include any oral or written communication
with a public office holder in an attempt to influence a decision
about "a directive, guidelines or an implementation measure
such as a guide, fact sheet or interpretation bulletin" or
"a policy direction...ministerial order, order or order in
council". This new criteria, in addition to the existing
criteria, will likely operate to catch more individuals under the
definition of "lobbyist". Unfortunately, this will
impose a greater registration burden on charities and NPOs (some of
which already have limited resources).
We understand that many charities and NPOs are making
representations to the government of Quebec requesting that the
government reconsider the breath of the legislation. We will
monitor the progress of Bill 56.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Under the Income Tax Act, the Employment Insurance Act, and the Excise Tax Act, a director of a corporation is jointly and severally liable for a corporation's failure to deduct and remit source deductions or GST.
Under the Income Tax Act, the Employment Insurance Act, the Canada Pension Plan Act and the Excise Tax Act, a director of a corporation is jointly and severally liable for a corporation's failure to deduct and remit source deductions.
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