Archived — Reminder concerning the participation of lobbyists in political activities - June 2015

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Archived Information

On December 1, 2015, the Commissioner issued guidance for lobbyists which explains her interpretation of the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct with respect to the intersection of political and lobbying activities. Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards

Given the upcoming federal election, I wish to take this opportunity to remind lobbyists about their obligations under the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct (the Code). Lobbyists should be mindful that temporarily deregistering during the election campaign may not be sufficient to avoid creating a real or apparent conflict of interest.

Subsection 10.3 of the Lobbying Act (the Act) states that lobbyists are required to comply with the requirements of the Code. More specifically, Rule 8 of the Code provides that:

Lobbyists shall not place public office holders in a conflict of interest by proposing or undertaking any action that would constitute an improper influence on a public office holder

In June 2015, I issued revised guidance for lobbyists which explains my interpretation of the Code with respect to the intersection of political and lobbying activities. In my guidance, I give examples of political activities that I would see as creating a sense of obligation on the part of a candidate:

  • serving on the Executive or Board of Directors of a candidate’s electoral district association;
  • serving as a campaign chair or in another strategic role on a campaign team;
  • serving in a named position on behalf of an electoral district association or candidate as set out in the Canada Elections Act;
  • leading the preparation of a candidate for debate or providing strategic advice in the context of debate preparation; or
  • organizing a fundraising event.

The guidance also explains how lobbyists can avoid placing public office holders in a real or apparent conflict of interest when undertaking political activities at the regional or national level.

For more information, please refer to the Commissioner’s Guidance for Lobbyists Regarding the Application of Rule 8 – Political Activities on the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying website.

You can also directly contact my Office at 613-957-2760 or at

Sincerely yours,

Karen E. Shepherd
Commissioner of Lobbying