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Commissioner of Lobbying releases 2020-21 Annual Report, reveals record breaking year for lobbying activity

News release

June 15, 2021 – Ottawa, ON

Uncertainty fueled by the pandemic has led to a record-breaking year for federal lobbying activity. Supporting data and other key information are outlined in Commissioner of Lobbying Nancy Bélanger’s 2020-21 Annual Report, which was tabled today in Parliament.

The 2020-21 fiscal year was busy on every front. The Office saw a record number of active lobbyists, active registrations, and communication reports. There were also substantial increases in new registrations, inquiries, compliance activities, and outreach to stakeholders.

The report also highlights the Office’s activities and achievements during 2020-21, including a first round of consultation on future changes to the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct and the Commissioner’s 11 preliminary recommendations for improving the Lobbying Act. It also offers insights into how lobbyists have adapted their lobbying activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With a new fiscal year currently underway, the Office is focused on the implementation of a new three-year strategic plan. Without a doubt, the increase in funding received in Budget 2021 to hire additional employees in IM-IT in part to continuously improve the Registry of Lobbyists, the planned revision to the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct and the recommendations for improving the Lobbying Act will also play a central role in shaping the Office’s operations this fiscal year and beyond.

Read the report:

The Commissioner will be available for interviews on June 15, between noon - 2 p.m.

To request an interview or to submit questions by email, please contact media@lobbycanada.gc.ca.

Quotes

“I’m encouraged by the many new records related to lobbying that we saw in the Registry during 2020-21. Transparency matters, even during a pandemic.”

Nancy Bélanger, Commissioner of Lobbying

“The past year has demonstrated the importance and need for transparency in the lobbying of federal officials. We have seen a number of important discussions to that effect. While we have seen some degrees of transparency, the Lobbying Act can be improved and I’ve shared my preliminary recommendations to strengthen the overall lobbying regime.”

Nancy Bélanger, Commissioner of Lobbying

“I’m incredibly proud of all that we’ve accomplished during a very busy and challenging year. In addition to quickly adapting to telework, my team consistently responded to the challenges of an increased workload and continued to meet or exceed our service standards. It is fitting that my annual report is released during National Public Service Week. My annual report is a reflection of their ongoing contributions and commitment to supporting transparent lobbying activities.”

Nancy Bélanger, Commissioner of Lobbying

Highlights

  • Throughout 2020-21, there was a monthly average of 6,279 active lobbyists registered with in the Registry of Lobbyists, the highest in the history of the Registry.
  • In 2020-21, there was an average of 4,520 active registrations each month, with roughly three-quarters filed by consultant lobbyists.
  • A total of 28,919 monthly communication reports (MCRs) were filed, 92% of which were filed on time.
  • The top 5 subject matters listed in MCRs were: economic development; health; industry environment; and energy.
  • The top 5 government institutions listed in MCRs were: House of Commons; Innovation, Science and Economic Development; Finance Canada; Natural Resources Canada and Global Affairs Canada.
  • The Office responded to 5,781 calls and emails from stakeholders, a 21% increase over the previous year. Over 70% of these were related to support for registrations.
  • Three files were referred to a peace officer for investigation in 2020-21.
  • One investigation report (MacNaughton/Palantir) was tabled in Parliament in 2020-21. Another report (Aldridge/MCAP) was tabled on June 10, 2021.
  • Eleven preliminary recommendations to improve the Lobbying Act were shared with relevant parliamentary committees.

Related information

Contacts

For media enquiries, please contact:

Email: media@lobbycanada.gc.ca

For general enquiries, please contact:

Email: info@lobbycanada.gc.ca
Telephone: 613-957-2760

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