On August 23, 2016, Saskatchewan proclaimed into force the Lobbyists Act (Act) and the Lobbyists Regulations (Regulations).
Saskatchewan has also launched a searchable online lobbyist registry. Current lobbyists in
Saskatchewan have 30 days to submit their registrations from the
date the Act came into force.
Saskatchewan is the last province in Western Canada to put in
place legislation to regulate lobbyists. The federal government and
the provincial governments of Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec,
Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia also have lobbying
regimes. Prince Edward Island has not enacted any lobbying
legislation and New Brunswick's has been enacted but not yet
proclaimed into force.
The Act shares many similarities with British Columbia's
lobbying legislation. Most notably, unlike the federal, Alberta,
Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia lobbying regimes, in Saskatchewan
(as in British Columbia) it is considered to be
"lobbying" for an in-house lobbyist to communicate with a
public office holder in attempt to influence the awarding of a
contract. In contrast, federal law, and lobbying regimes in most
provinces (including Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Ontario)
provide that communications with a public office holder regarding
the awarding of a contract only constitute "lobbying"
when carried out by a consultant (and not an in-house)
The Act also goes a step further than most provinces'
lobbying legislation by stipulating that it is lobbying for an
in-house lobbyist to arrange a meeting between a public office
holder and any other individual for the purpose of attempting to
influence the public office holder on any lobbying subject-matter.
In other Canadian jurisdictions except for Quebec and Newfoundland
and Labrador, arranging a meeting only constitutes lobbying when
done by an external consultant lobbyist.
As is the case federally and in all other provinces,
registration of an in-house lobbyist is only required if a certain
threshold is met (whereas any lobbying by a consultant lobbyist
requires registration). Under the Act, the most senior paid officer
at the organization is responsible for filing an in-house lobbyist
return if the organization employs one or more individuals whose
lobbying activities or duty to lobby on behalf of the organization
or its affiliates, either alone or collectively, amounts to at
least 100 hours annually. Preparation and travel time count toward
this 100-hour threshold.
The Act contains detailed post-employment lobbying restrictions
for former public office holders. Former ministers of the Crown
will be prohibited from lobbying for one year after ceasing to be a
minister, and former members of the legislative assembly will be
prohibited from lobbying for six months after ceasing to be a
member. Additionally, the Act imposes certain lobbying restrictions
on individuals for six months after they cease to hold office. Such
individuals include former:
Public office holders formerly
employed in the office of a minister of the Crown
Public office holders formerly
employed in the premier's office
Assistant deputy ministers
Associate deputy ministers
The Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists Saskatchewan may grant
exemptions on a case-by-case basis to post-employment lobbying
restrictions and must publicly provide reasons for doing so.
Unlike the federal government and some other provinces,
Saskatchewan has not prohibited the payment of contingency fees
(also known as success fees) to lobbyists, nor is there any
requirement to disclose the payment of such fees.
Non-compliance with the Act may result in an administrative
penalty of up to C$25,000 and a prohibition on lobbying for up to
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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