Canada: Do You Need To Register In New Brunswick's Lobbyist Registry?

The long-coming proclamation of the New Brunswick Lobbyists' Registration Act (the "Act") occurred on April 1, 2017.  With it came broad ranging public reporting obligations for lobbyists and potentially serious consequences for non-compliance.

The Act governs all lobbying activities in the Province of New Brunswick and requires each lobbyist to register with an Integrity Commissioner (the "Commissioner") and to file returns that disclose information about the lobbyist's activities.

The Act covers not only traditional consultants hired to lobby on behalf of clients, but also employees who lobby government on behalf of their employer.  As a result, employees and employers would be well advised to examine the Act and determine whether they are required to file lobbying returns.

What Does the Act cover?

Despite the Act's broad implications, it does not capture all communications with government.  In order to create a reporting obligation, a lobbyist must engage with a public office holder (government official) in an activity that constitutes lobbying.

Who is a Lobbyist?

There are two types of lobbyists.

  • A consultant lobbyist is a traditional lobbyist – a paid professional engaged by a client to lobby government.The payment can be in any form of remuneration or benefit.
  • An in-house lobbyist is an employee of a person (including a corporation), partnership or organization that meets certain prescribed criteria.In particular, does the individual spend more than 20% of his or her time lobbying on behalf of his or her employer, or is he or she part of a group of employees who, together, spend the equivalent of 20% of the time of one full-time employee lobbying government (all percentages being calculated over a 3-month period)?If so, the individual is an in-house lobbyist.

The calculation of the 20% threshold includes any time spent on behalf of the employer's parent company and any of its subsidiaries, unless the employer is an organization (which includes non-profit oriented organizations such as business or professional organizations, trade unions, labour organizations, chambers of commerce, other governments, charities, not-for-profits and interest groups).

Public Office Holders

The Act applies to any attempt to influence a public office holder.  This includes an MLA, a Cabinet minister, any employee of the provincial public service (including government departments, school districts, health and ambulance authorities and Crown corporations) and members of district education councils and regional health authority boards.

The following are not included within the meaning of public office holder and interactions with any of them do not create a reporting obligation:  councillors and employees of municipalities and rural communities, members of local service district councils and members and employees of regional service commissions.  Federal elected officials and employees are also not subject to the Act, however a federal statute, the Lobbying Act (Canada), governs lobbying at the federal level.1

Lobbying Defined

To lobby does not include all interactions with the provincial government, but only a discrete set of attempts to influence public officer holders with respect to any of the following:

  1.  the development of a legislative proposal,
  2.  the introduction, passage, defeat or amendment of a public bill or a motion in the Legislative Assembly,
  3.  the making or amendment of a regulation,
  4.  the development, amendment or termination of any policy or program of the government,
  5.  a Cabinet decision to sell all or part or any interest in or asset of any business, enterprise or institution that  provides goods or services to the government or the public,
  6.  a Cabinet, Cabinet committee or ministerial decision to have the private sector instead of the government provide goods or services to the Crown, and
  7.  the awarding of any grant, contribution or other financial benefit by or on behalf of the Crown.
  8. For a consultant lobbyist only, lobbying :

  9.  arranging a meeting between a public office holder and any other person, and
  10.  communicating with a public office holder in an attempt to influence the awarding of any contract by or on behalf of the Crown.

Interactions with government on behalf of a client or an employer do not fall under the Act if they relate to, with respect to that specific client or employer:

  • the enforcement, interpretation or application of a law or regulation, or
  • the implementation or administration of any policy, program, directive or guideline.

A good example is an environmental impact assessment (EIA).  The usual interactions that a company and its employees and consultants will have with government officials in connection with an EIA process are excluded, however any attempt to influence changes in the EIA process, or to obtain exemptions not otherwise provided for in law, would constitute lobbying.

Other specific activities are also excluded:

  • an individual's own interactions with government,
  • submissions made to the Legislature, its committees or its officers or in direct response to a request for comment from a public officer holder,
  • a person who approaches an MLA to assist that MLA's own constituents, and
  • public sector trade union negotiations and the administration of public sector collective bargaining agreements.

Filing Returns

A consultant lobbyist and an in-house lobbyist who is not employed by an organization is required to file a return with the Commissioner in relation to his or her lobbying activities.  A return relating to an in-house lobbyist employed by an organization must be filed by the senior officer of the organization.

The deadline to file a return depends on the type of lobbyist.

  • A consultant lobbyist must file a return within 15 days of starting to lobby on behalf of a client. Every new client and every new engagement on behalf of an existing client will result in a reporting obligation.
  • A return relating to an in-house lobbyist must be filed within 2 months after the employee meets the definition of an in-house lobbyist.

In all cases, an updated return must be filed every 6 months, and any change to any information disclosed in a return must also be reported.  A return must also be filed at the end of a lobbying engagement by a consultant lobbyist and whenever an in-house lobbyist no longer meets the criteria of an in-house lobbyist.

Despite these deadlines, the Act provides a grace period during the first 3 months of its application for lobbying activity that was actually occurring when the Act came into force (on April 1, 2017) – returns for this type of activity must be filed only by July 1, 2017.

To file a return, a lobbyist (or, in the case of an organization, its senior officer) must register as a user in the Commissioner's online lobbyist registry.

Information Disclosed in a Return

A return requires the following type of information to be disclosed for each client or employer and, in the case of a consultant lobbyist, for each lobbying activity:

  • the name, business name (if any), address and other contact information of the lobbyist,
  • the type of lobbyist (consultant or in-house),
  • the name, address and other contact information of the client or employer,
  • if the individual is an in-house lobbyist not employed by an organization, the name, address and other contact information of any parent company and subsidiary,
  • the subject matter of the lobbying activity,
  • the ultimate objective of the lobbying efforts,
  • the government department or agency that is the target of the lobbying activity,
  • the communication methods used,
  • whether any MLA has been or will be contacted as part of the lobbying efforts,
  • whether the client or employer has received government funding, and if so how much and from what government department or agency, and
  • whether the client or employer has received funding from a third party to support the lobbying activities, and if so the name, address and other contact information of the third party.

A return that is filed is published in a lobbyist registry on the Commissioner's website that will be open to inspection by the public.

What if I Don't File a Return?

The penalty for a failure to file a return is a fine of up to $25,000. For a second or subsequent offence, the maximum fine is $100,000.

Footnotes

1 Further information on Canada's federal lobbyist registry can be found at the website for the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada at lobbycanada.gc.ca.

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.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions