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5-year post-employment prohibition on lobbying

A 5-year prohibition on lobbying applies to former designated public office holders [defined in the Lobbying Act, subsection 2(1)].

This post-employment restriction excludes designated public office holders from being paid to:

  1. work as a consultant lobbyist;
  2. lobby on behalf of an organization; or
  3. lobby on behalf of a corporation, where lobbying activities would constitute a significant part of the work.

This prohibition begins immediately following the last day of employment as a designated public office holder.


The Commissioner of Lobbying can exempt an individual from the 5-year prohibition, as long as it would not be contrary to the purposes of the Lobbying Act.

Exemptions may be granted with or without conditions.

Reasons for granting an exemption typically include:

  • Being employed as a DPOH for a short period of time or on an acting basis;
  • Being employed under a student program;
  • Frequency of interaction with other DPOHs; and
  • Nature of responsibilities and type of information obtained.

Further information on acting appointments can be found in the bulletin Acting Appointments in Designated Public Office Holder Positions.

Process for exemption requests

Applying for an exemption from the 5-year post-employment prohibition on lobbying involves the following steps.

  1. Application (fill out form, submit relevant documents)
    • We'll confirm that we have received the request.
  2. Review and assessment of request
  3. Decision made and communicated to applicant
    • If not favourable, the applicant will be given an opportunity to further make their case.
    • The final decision will be communicated.
  4. If the exemption is granted, it is published online (including number, the name of the person, the exemption number and the reason why it was granted).

Apply for an exemption from the post-employment prohibition on lobbying

To apply, you'll need to provide the following:

  • Contact information (name, address, email, telephone number);
  • A list of all employment as a DPOH held within the last 5 years (title, level or salary range, start and end dates, name and title of immediate supervisor, and a description of duties performed);
  • Supporting documentation
    • Letters of offer
    • Proof of departure
    • Any other relevant information, including correspondence received from the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner
  • Names and contact information for both your supervisor and a colleague for the most recent position you held as a DPOH; and
  • Reason(s) why you should be exempted (i.e. employed as a DPOH for a short period of time or on an acting basis, employed under a student program, only had administrative duties, or other relevant factors).

You have four options to submit the information:

  1. Apply online
  2. Email all documents to
  3. Fax info to 613-957-3078
  4. Mail the info to:

    Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying
    410 Laurier Ave West, 8th floor
    Ottawa, ON K1R 1B7

Exemptions granted under the Lobbying Act

View granted exemptions

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