Canada: Prince Edward Island Lobbying Regime On The Horizon

Recently, the Prince Edward Island Legislative Assembly passed the Lobbyists Registration Act (Act). The passage of this legislation marks an important step towards establishing a lobbying regime in the province. A proclamation date has not yet been announced, but in other jurisdictions it has typically required several months between passage and proclamation to allow for an office and registry to be established. Currently, Prince Edward Island remains the only province (including the three territories) in Canada that does not have some form of lobbying law.

Once in force, the Prince Edward Island regime will be substantially similar to other provincial and federal regimes by regulating the disclosure of advocacy of public office holders and registration of in-house and consultant lobbyists.

REGULATED LOBBYISTS AND LOBBYING ACTIVITIES

The Act regulates in-house and consultant lobbyists. The registration thresholds for in-house lobbyists will be exceeded if a partnership, organization, corporation or person employs one or more employees whose duties (alone or collectively) are to lobby for at least 50 hours in a three-month period. There are no equivalent thresholds for consultant lobbyists since they qualify as lobbyists immediately upon undertaking to lobby on behalf of a client. The lobbying activities regulated under the Act generally apply to both in-house and consultant lobbyists and include communications with a public office holder in an attempt to influence:

  • The development of a legislative proposal by the Government of Prince Edward Island or by a member of the Legislative Assembly
  • The introduction of a bill or resolution in the Legislative Assembly or the passage, defeat or amendment of any bill or resolution that is before the Legislative Assembly
  • The making or amendment of any regulation made by a minister or the Lieutenant Governor in Council
  • The development or amendment of a policy or program of the Government of Prince Edward Island or the termination of any program of the government
  • A decision by the executive council to transfer from the Crown for consideration, all or part of, or any interest in or asset of, any business, enterprise or institution that provides goods or services to the Crown or to the public
  • A decision by the executive council, a committee of the executive council or a minister to have the private sector instead of the Crown provide goods or services to the Crown, or
  • The awarding of any grant, contribution or other financial benefit by or on behalf of the Crown.

The Act also regulates certain lobbying activities specific to consultant lobbyists, including communicating with a public office holder in an attempt to influence the awarding of any contract by or on behalf of the Crown, or arrange a meeting between a public office holder and any other person.

CONTRACTING

The Act, like other federal and provincial legislation, regulates communicating with a public office holder in an attempt to influence the awarding of any contract by or on behalf of the Crown, but only in respect of advocacy by consultant lobbyists. It follows that communications absent awarding or negotiating contracts by in-house personnel would not constitute lobbying.

WHO IS A PUBLIC OFFICE HOLDER?

A public office holder, as defined under the Act, includes a member, officer or employee of the Legislative Assembly (including their staff), as well as employees of the Government of Prince Edward Island (including all ministers and political staff). A public office holder will also include members, officers or employees of an education authority, and persons who are appointed to any office or body by or with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council or a minister (except a judge or a justice, a member of an administrative tribunal exercising a judicial function or the Information and Privacy Commissioner appointed pursuant to Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act).

LOBBYIST REGISTRY IN PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

Once proclaimed in force, the Prince Edward Island lobbying regime will require that consultant and in-house lobbyists submit a return to the Registrar of Lobbyists (Registrar). Consultant lobbyists will be required to file a return within 10 days after beginning any lobbying activities, and subsequently every six months within 30 days of the previous return date. Of note, a consultant lobbyist performing an undertaking to lobby will be required to file a return within 10 days of the date the legislation comes into force.

An in-house lobbyist, on the other hand, will be required to submit a return within two months after beginning their role, and subsequently every six months within 30 days of the previous return date. An in-house lobbyist will also be required to file a return within two months of the date the legislation comes into force.

EXEMPTIONS UNDER THE ACT

The Act exempts certain communications from the disclosure requirements and does not apply to the following types of communications:

  • Oral or written submissions made in proceedings that are a matter of public record to a committee of the Legislative Assembly or to any body or person having jurisdiction or powers conferred by or under an Act.
  • Oral or written submissions made to a public office holder by an individual on behalf of a person, partnership or organization regarding the enforcement, interpretation or application of any Act or regulation made under any Act by that public office holder regarding that person, partnership or organization.
  • Oral or written submissions made to a public office holder by an individual on behalf of a person, partnership or organization with respect to the implementation or administration of any policy, program, directive or guideline by that public office holder regarding that person, partnership or organization.
  • Oral or written submissions made to a public office holder by an individual on behalf of a person, partnership or organization, in direct response to an oral or written request from a public office holder for advice or comment.
  • Oral or written submission made to a member of the Legislative Assembly by an individual on behalf of a constituent of the member regarding any personal matter of that constituent unless the submission is made in respect of influencing the awarding of any contract by or on behalf of the Crown, arranging a meeting between a public office holder and any other person, or a private bill for the special benefit of that constituent.
  • Any communication made to a public office holder by a trade union regarding the administration or negotiation of a collective agreement or matters related to the representation of a member or former member of a bargaining unit who is or was employed by the Government of Prince Edward Island, by an education authority.

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Like other jurisdictions, lobbyists will be prohibited from knowingly placing a public office holder in a position of real or potential conflict of interest in Prince Edward Island. However, the Act does not currently define what constitutes a conflict of interest.

CONTINGENCY FEES

The Act, like other provincial and federal regimes, prohibits consultant lobbyists from accepting contingency fees for successful lobbying outcomes. The Act further prohibits clients of a consultant lobbyist from making any payment to a consultant lobbyist that is contingent on the consultant lobbyist's degree of success in lobbying.

POST-EMPLOYMENT RESTRICTIONS FOR FORMER PUBLIC OFFICE HOLDERS

Under the Act, former public office holders, which include ministers, deputy ministers or an equivalent position in the premier's office, members or officers of the Legislative Assembly, the Secretary to Treasury Board and the clerk or clerk assistant of the executive council, will be prohibited from lobbying as a consultant lobbyist or in-house lobbying for a period of six months after their position has ceased.

PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES AND PENALTIES UNDER THE ACT

The Act provides that a consultant or in-house lobbyist would be guilty of an offence and subject to monetary fines if they undertake any of the following prohibited activities:

  • Violating or failing to comply with the provisions relating to filing a return in the Act
  • Knowingly making a false or misleading statement in a return or other document submitted to the Registrar
  • Lobbying a public office holder when not registered in the Registry regarding those lobbying activities, or
  • Knowingly placing a public office holder (if in the course of lobbying him or her) in a position of real or potential conflict of interest.

The Registrar may prosecute a lobbyist for any of the above offences within two years of the alleged offence. Where the lobbyist is convicted, a maximum monetary fine of C$25,000 may be imposed.

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
Events from this Firm
27 Sep 2018, Speaking Engagement, Toronto, Canada

Blakes is pleased to introduce a new program in our continued partnership with Women General Counsel Canada. Stepping Beyond is directed to women general counsel who are preparing for opportunities beyond their GC role.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
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