Registration and Client Services Directorate – Organisation
Table of Contents
- Commissioner of Lobbying
- Four Underlying Principles
- The Lobbyists' Code of Conduct
- What is Lobbying?
- What is not Lobbying?
- What type of lobbyist are you?
- Who is Lobbied?
- Who is responsible for filing returns?
- What is a significant part of duties?
- Registration Process
- What information must be disclosed in an organization registration?
- Reporting on Public Office Held – As displayed in the Registry
- Reporting on Subject Matter – As displayed in the Registry
- Reporting on Government Funding
- Reporting on Government Funding – As displayed in the Registry
- What is grass-roots communication?
- Corrections to information you submitted may be required
- When are registration updates due?
- When is a monthly communication report required?
- Monthly Communication Report – As displayed in the Registry
- Things to Remember
To highlight the requirements of the Lobbying Act and the Regulations.
To provide an overview of the role of the Registration and Client Services Directorate.
To share key information about registrable and reportable activities.
To answer questions about the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying's (OCL) registration process.
Commissioner of Lobbying
The mandate of the Commissioner of Lobbying is to:
- Establish and maintain a publicly-available registry
- Raise awareness of lobbyists, public office holders and the public through outreach and educational programs
- Administer and enforce the Lobbying Act and the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct
Four Underlying Principles
The Lobbying Act and the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct are based on four principles:
- Free and open access to government is an important matter of public interest.
- Lobbying public office holders is a legitimate activity.
- It is desirable that public office holders and the public be able to know who is engaged in lobbying activities.
- The system for the registration of paid lobbyists should not impede free and open access to government.
The Lobbyists' Code of Conduct
The Commissioner of Lobbying has the authority to develop, administer and enforce a Lobbyists' Code of Conduct.
The purpose of the Code is to assure Canadians that lobbying is done ethically and in accordance with the highest standards.
Lobbyists are required to comply with the Code.
What is Lobbying?
Three elements define lobbying:
- The individual is paid by an employer or a client.
- The individual communicates directly (i.e. either in writing or orally) or indirectly (i.e. grass-roots communication), with a federal public office holder.
- The individual communicates about one of the following subjects:
- Development of any legislative proposal
- Introduction, defeat or amendment of any Bill or resolution
- Making or amendment of any regulation
- Development or amendment of any policy or program
- Awarding of any grant, contribution or other financial benefit
- Awarding of any contract (Consultant lobbyists only)
The individual arranges a meeting between a public office holder and any other person (Consultant lobbyists only).
What is not Lobbying?
The following types of oral or written communications are not registrable lobbying activities:
- submissions to Parliamentary Committees.
- communications with a public office holder concerning the enforcement, interpretation or the application of any Act of Parliament or regulation.
- communications made to a public office holder that are limited to a request for information.
What type of lobbyist are you?
- Employee of a corporation or an organization who communicates with public office holders on behalf of their employer.
- The most senior paid employee is responsible for filing a registration for a corporation or organization.
- Registration is required within two months of when lobbying activities constitute a significant part of the duties of one full-time employee.
- An individual who communicates with a federal public office holder, for payment, on behalf of a client (i.e. another individual, a company or an organization).
- An individual who arranges a meeting between a public office holder and any other person.
- Consultant lobbyists are required to register each of their lobbying undertakings no later than 10 days after entering into an undertaking.
Who is Lobbied?
Public Office Holders (POHs) are:
- Any officers or employees of Her Majesty in right of Canada;
- Members of the Senate or the House of Commons or members of their staff;
- GIC appointees, other than a judge receiving a salary under the Judges Act or the lieutenant governor of a province;
- Officers, directors or employees of any federal board, commission or other tribunal as defined in the Federal Courts Act; and
- Members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the RCMP.
Designated Public Office Holders (DPOHs) are:
- All MPs and Senators
- Ministers and their exempt staff
- Some staff in the Office of the Leader of the Opposition
- Deputy Ministers
- Associate and Assistant Deputy Ministers, and those of comparable rank (Interpretation bulletin on Comparable Rank)
- 7 senior positions in the Armed Forces
- Comptroller General of Canada
- Select positions at the Privy Council Office.
Who is responsible for filing returns?
The registrant, that is the officer responsible for filing returns, is the most senior paid employee of an organization.
This is the officer responsible for registering his/her organization's lobbying activities.
- Chairpersons or members of the Board of Directors who are not employees of the organization, should not be listed as lobbyists in the organization's registration.
- An external chairperson or board member who communicates with public office holders on a registrable subject on behalf of the organization and who receives remuneration from the organization beyond reimbursement of expenses must register as a consultant lobbyist.
What is a significant part of duties?
The most senior paid officer must file a return when one or more employees communicate with public office holders on registrable topics on behalf of the employer, and the cumulative lobbying activities of all employees constitutes a "Significant Part of Duties," interpreted as 20% or more of one person's time over a one-month period.
- Time spent by all employees preparing for communicating, e.g. (research, writing, planning, travelling, etc.) and actually communicating with public office holders should be considered.
In situations where the time related to lobbying is difficult to estimate, the officer responsible for filing will have to estimate the relative importance of the lobbying activities. Both methods may be used in conjunction if the situation is unclear.
The officer responsible for filing is accountable for the decision as to whether or not a registration is necessary.
What information must be disclosed in an organization registration?
In an initial registration, the most senior paid officer provides the following information:
- The organization's contact information;
- The organization's activities and membership;
- The names of in-house lobbyists and the public offices and/or designated public offices held by each within the Government of Canada before they started lobbying;
- The funding received or expected to be received from any government or government agency;
- The names and descriptions of the specific legislative proposals, bills, regulations, policies, programs of interest and grants and/or contributions sought;
- Federal government institutions being contacted;
- Communication techniques being used.
Reporting on Public Office Held – As displayed in the Registry
Public offices held: John Doe
|Position||Period Held||Last Date Designated Public Office Held|
Transport Canada, Civil Aviation
|January 2007 to March 2012||Not a designated office|
Environment Canada, Energy Renewal Directorate
|June 2000 to April 2006||Not a designated office|
Heritage Canada, Communications
|April 1997 to May 2000||Not a designated office|
Return to registration for Chinook Mines Limited
Reporting on Subject Matter – As displayed in the Registry
|Subject Matters||Subject Matter Details|
Grant, Contribution or Other Financial Benefit, Policies or Program
Legislative Proposal, Bill or Resolution
|Communication Techniques||Government Institutions|
Reporting on Government Funding
Government Funding TO BE Reported
- Government grants
- Non-repayable contributions
- Any other non-repayable funding
Government Funding NOT TO BE Reported
- Repayable contributions
- Loans and loan guarantees
- Tax credits
- Remission orders
- Goods or services contracts
Reporting on Government Funding – As displayed in the Registry
End date of the last completed fiscal year:
|Government Institution||Funding Received in Last Financial Year||Funding Expected in Current Financial Year|
|Aboriginal Affasirs and Nothern Development Canada (AANDC)||$1,200,000.00||Yes|
|Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA)||$400,000.00||No|
|Environment Canada (EC)||$1,000,000.00||Yes|
Reporting on Communication Techniques
Identify all communication techniques you use or expect to use:
- Written Communication
- Oral Communication
- Grass-roots Communication
What is grass-roots communication?
Grass-roots lobbying occurs when, for payment and on behalf of a client or employer, individuals encourage members of the public to communicate with federal public office holders on registrable topics.
Grass-roots lobbying may include advertisements, mass letter and/or facsimile campaigns, telephone calls to public office holders, public demonstrations, use of websites or communication through social media tools such as Facebook or Twitter.
Organizations should consider the time spent by employees developing and delivering grass-roots campaigns when calculating whether they have met the significant part of duties threshold for registration.
Corrections to information you submitted may be required
The registrant may be requested to provide the OCL with corrections to registrations submitted.
In practice, a correction would be required if information is missing, incomplete, or incorrect.
As per the Lobbyists Registration Regulations, corrections to a return must be submitted to the Commissioner within 10 days of the request.
When are registration updates due?
You must update your registration for your organization no later than 15 days after the end of every month if:
- Information contained in an active registration is no longer correct or additional information needs to be added (e.g., a new government institution is being lobbied); or
- The lobbying activities have terminated.
If you have not updated your registration or submitted a monthly communication report in five months then you must re-certify your registration by the first day of the sixth month.
When is a monthly communication report required?
A communication with a DPOH on a registrable subject must be disclosed in a monthly report not later than 15 days after the end of every month if :
- It is both oral and arranged, and
- It is initiated by someone other than a POH, or
- It is initiated by a POH and the subject matter relates to the awarding of grants, contributions or other financial benefits.
Monthly Communication Report – As displayed in the Registry
Vegetable Lovers Association
Designated Public Office Holders who participated in the communication:
- Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health | Health Canada (HC)
Subject matter of communication: Health
Communication number: 327867-314033
View associated regristration
Things to Remember
The most senior paid employee (the Registrant) is the only one accountable for:
- Making the decision as to whether or not a registration is necessary.
- Certifying and submitting returns.
The trigger for registration is when lobbying activities constitute a "significant part of duties".
The registrant is responsible for adhering to prescribed timelines:
- initial registration (no later than two months after the day on which the requirement to file a return arises.)
- updates and terminations (15th of the following month)
- monthly communication reports (15th of the following month)
- six month return (1st of the sixth month since a return was filed)
The organization must contact OCL when there is a change concerning the most senior officer responsible for filing a return.
Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada
410 Laurier Avenue West, 8th floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1R 1B7