Archived — Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct (1997)
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On December 1, 2015, the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct came into force. It replaced the 1997 Code. 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.
The Lobbyists' Code of Conduct is founded on four concepts stated in the Lobbying Act:
- 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; and,
- A system for the registration of paid lobbyists should not impede free and open access to government.
The Lobbyists' Code of Conduct is an important initiative for promoting public trust in the integrity of government decision-making. The trust that Canadians place in public office holders to make decisions in the public interest is vital to a free and democratic society.
To this end, public office holders, when they deal with the public and with lobbyists, are required to honour the standards set out for them in their own codes of conduct. For their part, lobbyists communicating with public office holders must also abide by standards of conduct, which are set out below.
Together, these codes play an important role in safeguarding the public interest in the integrity of government decision-making.
Integrity and Honesty
Lobbyists should conduct with integrity and honesty all relations with public office holders, clients, employers, the public and other lobbyists.
Lobbyists should, at all times, be open and frank about their lobbying activities, while respecting confidentiality.
Lobbyists should observe the highest professional and ethical standards. In particular, lobbyists should conform fully with not only the letter but the spirit of the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct as well as all the relevant laws, including the Lobbying Act and its regulations.
1. Identity and purpose
Lobbyists shall, when making a representation to a public office holder, disclose the identity of the person or organization on whose behalf the representation is made, as well as the reasons for the approach.
2. Accurate information
Lobbyists shall provide information that is accurate and factual to public office holders. Moreover, lobbyists shall not knowingly mislead anyone and shall use proper care to avoid doing so inadvertently.
3. Disclosure of obligations
Lobbyists shall indicate to their client, employer or organization their obligations under the Lobbying Act, and their obligation to adhere to the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct.
4. Confidential information
Lobbyists shall not divulge confidential information unless they have obtained the informed consent of their client, employer or organization, or disclosure is required by law.
5. Insider information
Lobbyists shall not use any confidential or other insider information obtained in the course of their lobbying activities to the disadvantage of their client, employer or organization.
Conflict of interest
6. Competing interests
Lobbyists shall not represent conflicting or competing interests without the informed consent of those whose interests are involved.
Consultant lobbyists shall advise public office holders that they have informed their clients of any actual, potential or apparent conflict of interest, and obtained the informed consent of each client concerned before proceeding or continuing with the undertaking.
8. Improper influence
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.