The status of Members of Parliament, Ministers, and Senators and their staff during an election period

When a federal election is called, Members of Parliament cease to be public office holders. Candidates running in a federal election do not become public office holders until they are voted into office. Therefore, communicating with any candidate during the election period does not trigger the need to register nor does it need to be reported under the Lobbying Act.

However, the Prime Minister, Ministers, and Ministers of State, and their staff retain their status as designated public office holders during a federal election period. Therefore, all the registration and monthly communication reporting requirements under the Lobbying Act continue to apply. Even if they are defeated in the election, the Prime Minister, Ministers, and Ministers of State continue to be designated public office holders until a new Cabinet is sworn in by the Governor General.

Senators also retain their status as designated public office holders during a federal election period and all the registration and monthly communication reporting requirements under the Lobbying Act continue to apply. Senators’ staff also retain their status as public office holders.

Members of Parliament’s staff who remain in their position during the election period retain their status as public office holders.

Chart to determine registration and reporting requirements during an election period

Public office held prior to election call Members of Parliament Prime Minister, Ministers, Ministers of State and their staff Senators Staff of Members of Parliament and Senators
Status during election Not public office holders Designated public office holders Designated public office holders Public office holders
Registration instructions for In-House Lobbyists Do not include in significant part of duties calculation Include in significant part of duties calculation Include in significant part of duties calculation Include in significant part of duties calculation
Reporting instructions for In-House Lobbyists Monthly communication report not required Monthly communication report required, if registration is required Monthly communication report required, if registration is required Monthly communication report not required
Registration instructions for Consultant Lobbyists Registration not required Registration required Registration required Registration required
Reporting instructions for Consultant Lobbyists Monthly communication report not required Monthly communication report required Monthly communication report required Monthly communication report not required
REMINDER: All oral and arranged communications with designated public office holders about registrable topics, initiated by a person other than a public office holder, must be reported in a monthly communication report by the 15th day of the following month. Registered lobbyists must report oral and arranged communications with designated public office holders when they are initiated by a public office holder and they concern funding (grant, contribution or other financial benefit) or a contract in the case of consultant lobbyists.