Guidance to mitigate conflicts of interest resulting from preferential access

Rule 7 – A lobbyist shall not arrange for another person a meeting with a public office holder when the lobbyist and public office holder share a relationship that could reasonably be seen to create a sense of obligation.

Rule 8 – A lobbyist shall not lobby a public office holder with whom they share a relationship that could reasonably be seen to create a sense of obligation.

Preferential access and conflict of interest

If you share a relationship with a public office holder that can reasonably be seen to provide you with preferential access to them, then they can be perceived to be in a conflict of interest if you lobby or arrange meetings with them.

If you have such a relationship with a public office holder, you should not lobby or arrange meetings with them.

Relationships with a high risk of being seen to create preferential access

Relationships with a public office holder that involve family, close friends, business partnerships, or other personal or professional bonds that can create a sense of obligation on the part of the public office holder have a high risk of creating the perception that you have preferential access to them.

Examples:

  • Your family by blood or by marriage – including parents, siblings, your children and those of your spouse or partner, grandparents, grandchildren, first cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews who may be public office holders;
  • Your friends – meaning relationships with a public office holder where you share a close bond of friendship, a feeling of affection, or a special kinship that extends beyond simple association. This excludes casual acquaintances or members of your broad social or business circles; or
  • Your business partnerships with a public office holder where you share an ownership, fiduciary or monetary interest in a business.

Questions? Contact us at questionslobbying@lobbycanada.gc.ca or 613-957-2760.