Lobbying Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 44 (4th Supp.))
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Act current to 2023-03-06 and last amended on 2022-07-26. Previous Versions
R.S.C., 1985, c. 44 (4th Supp.)
An Act respecting lobbying
WHEREAS free and open access to government is an important matter of public interest;
AND WHEREAS lobbying public office holders is a legitimate activity;
AND WHEREAS it is desirable that public office holders and the public be able to know who is engaged in lobbying activities;
AND WHEREAS a system for the registration of paid lobbyists should not impede free and open access to government;
NOW THEREFORE, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
- R.S., 1985, c. 44 (4th Supp.), preamble; 2003, c. 10, s. 1.
Marginal note:Short title
1 This Act may be cited as the Lobbying Act.
- R.S., 1985, c. 44 (4th Supp.), s. 1
- 2006, c. 9, s. 66
2 (1) In this Act,
- designated public office holder
designated public office holder means
(a) a minister of the Crown or a minister of state and any person employed in his or her office who is appointed under subsection 128(1) of the Public Service Employment Act,
(b) any other public office holder who, in a department within the meaning of paragraph (a), (a.1) or (d) of the definition department in section 2 of the Financial Administration Act,
(i) occupies the senior executive position, whether by the title of deputy minister, chief executive officer or by some other title, or
(ii) is an associate deputy minister or an assistant deputy minister or occupies a position of comparable rank, and
(c) any individual who occupies a position that has been designated by regulation under paragraph 12(c.1). (titulaire d’une charge publique désignée)
- Ethics Counsellor
Ethics Counsellor[Repealed, 2004, c. 7, s. 19]
(a) a business, trade, industry, professional or voluntary organization,
(b) a trade union or labour organization,
(c) a chamber of commerce or board of trade,
(d) a partnership, trust, association, charitable society, coalition or interest group,
(e) a government, other than the Government of Canada, and
(f) a corporation without share capital incorporated to pursue, without financial gain to its members, objects of a national, provincial, patriotic, religious, philanthropic, charitable, scientific, artistic, social, professional or sporting character or other similar objects; (organisation)
payment means money or anything of value and includes a contract, promise or agreement to pay money or anything of value; (paiement)
prescribed means prescribed by regulation; (Version anglaise seulement)
- public office holder
public office holder means any officer or employee of Her Majesty in right of Canada and includes
(a) a member of the Senate or the House of Commons and any person on the staff of such a member,
(b) a person who is appointed to any office or body by or with the approval of the Governor in Council or a minister of the Crown, other than a judge receiving a salary under the Judges Act or the lieutenant governor of a province,
(c) an officer, director or employee of any federal board, commission or other tribunal as defined in the Federal Courts Act,
(d) a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, and
(e) a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; (titulaire d’une charge publique)
registrar[Repealed, 2006, c. 9, s. 67]
Marginal note:Subsidiary corporation
(2) For the purposes of this Act, a corporation is a subsidiary of another corporation if
(a) securities of the first-mentioned corporation to which are attached more than fifty per cent of the votes that may be cast to elect directors of the first-mentioned corporation are held, otherwise than by way of security only, directly or indirectly, whether through one or more subsidiaries or otherwise, by or for the benefit of the other corporation; and
(b) the votes attached to those securities are sufficient, if exercised, to elect a majority of the directors of the first-mentioned corporation.
Marginal note:Transition team
(3) Any person identified by the Prime Minister as having had the task of providing support and advice to him or her during the transition period leading up to the swearing in of the Prime Minister and his or her ministry is subject to this Act, except subsections 10.11(2) to (4), as if the person were a designated public office holder during that period.
- R.S., 1985, c. 44 (4th Supp.), s. 2
- 1995, c. 12, s. 1
- 2002, c. 8, s. 182
- 2003, c. 10, s. 2
- 2004, c. 7, s. 19
- 2006, c. 9, s. 67
Marginal note:Binding on Her Majesty
3 This Act is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province.
Marginal note:Restriction on application
4 (1) This Act does not apply to any of the following persons when acting in their official capacity, namely,
(a) members of the legislature of a province or persons on the staff of such members;
(b) employees of the government of a province;
(c) members of a council or other statutory body charged with the administration of the civil or municipal affairs of a city, town, municipality or district, persons on the staff of such members or officers or employees of a city, town, municipality or district;
(d) members of the council of a band as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Indian Act or of the council of an Indian band established by an Act of Parliament, persons on their staff or employees of such a council;
(d.1) members of an aboriginal government or institution that exercises jurisdiction or authority under a self-government agreement, or under self-government provisions contained in a land claims agreement, given effect by or under an Act of Parliament, persons on the staff of those members or employees of that government or institution;
(d.2) [Repealed, 2003, c. 10, s. 3]
(d.3) [Repealed, 2004, c. 17, s. 20]
(e) diplomatic agents, consular officers or official representatives in Canada of a foreign government; or
(f) officials of a specialized agency of the United Nations in Canada or officials of any other international organization to whom there are granted, by or under any Act of Parliament, privileges and immunities.
(2) This Act does not apply in respect of
(a) any oral or written submission made to a committee of the Senate or House of Commons or of both Houses of Parliament or to any body or person having jurisdiction or powers conferred by or under an Act of Parliament, in proceedings that are a matter of public record;
(b) any oral or written communication made to a public office holder by an individual on behalf of any person or organization with respect to the enforcement, interpretation or application of any Act of Parliament or regulation by that public office holder with respect to that person or organization; or
(c) any oral or written communication made to a public office holder by an individual on behalf of any person or organization if the communication is restricted to a request for information.
(3) Nothing in this Act shall be construed as requiring the disclosure of the name or identity of any individual where that disclosure could reasonably be expected to threaten the safety of that individual.
- R.S., 1985, c. 44 (4th Supp.), s. 4
- 1994, c. 35, s. 36
- 1995, c. 12, s. 2
- 2000, c. 7, s. 24
- 2003, c. 10, s. 3
- 2004, c. 17, ss. 17, 20
Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying
Commissioner of Lobbying
Marginal note:Commissioner of Lobbying
4.1 (1) The Governor in Council shall, by commission under the Great Seal, appoint a Commissioner of Lobbying after consultation with the Leader of the Government in the Senate or Government Representative in the Senate, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, the Leader or Facilitator of every other recognized party or parliamentary group in the Senate and the leader of every recognized party in the House of Commons and approval of the appointment by resolution of the Senate and House of Commons.
Marginal note:Tenure of office and removal
(2) Subject to this section, the Commissioner holds office during good behaviour for a term of seven years, but may be removed for cause by the Governor in Council at any time on address of the Senate and House of Commons.
Marginal note:Further terms
(3) The Commissioner, on the expiry of a first or any subsequent term of office, is eligible to be reappointed for a further term not exceeding seven years.
Marginal note:Interim appointment
(4) In the event of the absence or incapacity of the Commissioner, or if that office is vacant, the Governor in Council may appoint any qualified person to hold that office in the interim for a term not exceeding six months, and that person shall, while holding office, be paid the salary or other remuneration and expenses that may be fixed by the Governor in Council.
- 2006, c. 9, s. 68
- 2022, c. 10, s. 250
Marginal note:Rank and powers
4.2 (1) The Commissioner has the rank and powers of a deputy head of a department, shall engage exclusively in the duties of the office of Commissioner under this Act or any other Act of Parliament and shall not hold any other office or employment for reward.
Marginal note:Duties and functions
(2) The Commissioner’s duties and functions, in addition to those set out elsewhere in this Act, include developing and implementing educational programs to foster public awareness of the requirements of this Act, particularly on the part of lobbyists, their clients and public office holders.
Marginal note:Remuneration and expenses
(3) The Commissioner shall be paid the remuneration and expenses set by the Governor in Council.
Marginal note:Pension benefits
(4) The provisions of the Public Service Superannuation Act, other than those relating to tenure of office, apply to the Commissioner, except that a person appointed as Commissioner from outside the public service, as defined in the Public Service Superannuation Act, may, by notice in writing given to the President of the Treasury Board not more than 60 days after the date of appointment, elect to participate in the pension plan provided in the Diplomatic Service (Special) Superannuation Act, in which case the provisions of that Act, other than those relating to tenure of office, apply to the Commissioner from the date of appointment and the provisions of the Public Service Superannuation Act do not apply.
Marginal note:Other benefits
(5) The Commissioner is deemed to be employed in the federal public administration for the purposes of the Government Employees Compensation Act and any regulations made under section 9 of the Aeronautics Act.
- 2006, c. 9, s. 68
Marginal note:Staff of the Commissioner
4.3 (1) Any officers and employees that are necessary to enable the Commissioner to perform the duties and functions of the Commissioner under this Act or any other Act of Parliament shall be appointed in accordance with the Public Service Employment Act.
Marginal note:Technical assistance
(2) The Commissioner may engage on a temporary basis the services of persons having technical or specialized knowledge of any matter relating to the work of the Commissioner to advise and assist the Commissioner in the performance of the duties and functions of the Commissioner under this Act or any other Act of Parliament and, with the approval of the Treasury Board, may fix and pay the remuneration and expenses of those persons.
- 2006, c. 9, s. 68
Marginal note:Delegation by Commissioner
4.4 The Commissioner may authorize any person to exercise or perform, subject to any restrictions or limitations that the Commissioner may specify, any of the powers, duties or functions of the Commissioner under this Act except
(a) the power to delegate under this section; and
(b) those set out in subsections 10(1), 10.2(1), 10.5(1) and sections 11, 11.1, 14.01 and 14.02.
- 2006, c. 9, s. 68
Registration of Lobbyists
Marginal note:Requirement to file return
5 (1) An individual shall file with the Commissioner, in the prescribed form and manner, a return setting out the information referred to in subsection (2), if the individual, for payment, on behalf of any person or organization (in this section referred to as the “client”), undertakes to
(a) communicate with a public office holder in respect of
(i) the development of any legislative proposal by the Government of Canada or by a member of the Senate or the House of Commons,
(ii) the introduction of any Bill or resolution in either House of Parliament or the passage, defeat or amendment of any Bill or resolution that is before either House of Parliament,
(iii) the making or amendment of any regulation as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Statutory Instruments Act,
(iv) the development or amendment of any policy or program of the Government of Canada,
(v) the awarding of any grant, contribution or other financial benefit by or on behalf of Her Majesty in right of Canada, or
(vi) the awarding of any contract by or on behalf of Her Majesty in right of Canada; or
(b) arrange a meeting between a public office holder and any other person.
Marginal note:Time limit for filing return
(1.1) An individual shall file the return referred to in subsection (1) not later than 10 days after entering into the undertaking.
(1.2) and (1.3) [Repealed, 2006, c. 9, s. 69]
Marginal note:Contents of return
(2) The return shall set out the following information with respect to the undertaking:
(a) the name and business address of the individual and, if applicable, the name and business address of the firm where the individual is engaged in business;
(b) the name and business address of the client and the name and business address of any person or organization that, to the knowledge of the individual, controls or directs the activities of the client and has a direct interest in the outcome of the individual’s activities on behalf of the client;
(c) where the client is a corporation, the name and business address of each subsidiary of the corporation that, to the knowledge of the individual, has a direct interest in the outcome of the individual’s activities on behalf of the client;
(d) where the client is a corporation that is a subsidiary of any other corporation, the name and business address of that other corporation;
(e) where the client is a coalition, the name and business address of each corporation or organization that is a member of the coalition;
(e.1) the client is funded in whole or in part by a government or government agency, the name of the government or agency, as the case may be, and the amount of funding received;
(f) particulars to identify the subject-matter in respect of which the individual undertakes to communicate with a public office holder or to arrange a meeting, and any other information respecting the subject-matter that is prescribed;
(g) the fact that the undertaking does not provide for any payment that is in whole or in part contingent on the outcome of any matter described in subparagraphs (1)(a)(i) to (vi) or on the individual’s success in arranging a meeting referred to in paragraph (1)(b);
(h) particulars to identify any relevant legislative proposal, Bill, resolution, regulation, policy, program, grant, contribution, financial benefit or contract;
(h.1) if the individual is a former public officer holder, a description of the offices held, which of those offices, if any, qualified the individual as a designated public office holder and the date on which the individual last ceased to hold such a designated public office;
(i) the name of any department or other governmental institution in which any public office holder with whom the individual communicates or expects to communicate in respect of any matter described in subparagraphs (1)(a)(i) to (vi) or with whom a meeting is, or is to be, arranged, is employed or serves;
(j) if the individual undertakes to communicate with a public office holder in respect of any matter described in subparagraphs (1)(a)(i) to (vi), particulars to identify any communication technique that the individual uses or expects to use in connection with the communication with the public office holder, including any appeals to members of the public through the mass media or by direct communication that seek to persuade those members of the public to communicate directly with a public office holder in an attempt to place pressure on the public office holder to endorse a particular opinion (in this Act referred to as “grass-roots communication”); and
(k) such other information relating to the identity of the individual, the client, any person or organization referred to in paragraph (b), any subsidiary referred to in paragraph (c), the other corporation referred to in paragraph (d), any member of a coalition referred to in paragraph (e) or any department or institution referred to in paragraph (i) as is prescribed.
Marginal note:Requirement to file monthly return
(3) The individual shall file a return, in the prescribed form and manner, not later than 15 days after the end of every month, beginning with the one in which the return is filed under subsection (1), that
(a) sets out, with respect to every communication referred to in paragraph (1)(a) that is of a prescribed type and that was made in that month involving a designated public office holder and relating to the undertaking,
(i) the name of the designated public office holder who was the object of the communication,
(ii) the date of the communication,
(iii) particulars, including any prescribed particulars, to identify the subject-matter of the communication, and
(iv) any other information that is prescribed;
(b) if any information contained in the return filed under subsection (1) is no longer correct or additional information that the individual would have been required to provide under that subsection has come to the knowledge of the individual after the return was filed, provides the corrected or additional information; and
(c) if the undertaking has been performed or terminated, advises the Commissioner of that fact.
Marginal note:First monthly return
(4) The first return filed under subsection (3) shall, despite paragraph (3)(a), set out the information required by that paragraph in respect of communications made between the day on which the undertaking referred to in subsection (1) was entered into and the end of the month immediately before the filing of the return.
(4.1) Subject to subsection (4.2), no return is required under subsection (3) if no communication referred to in paragraph (3)(a) was made during the period with respect to which the return is to set out information, and if the circumstances referred to in paragraphs (3)(b) and (c) have not arisen.
Marginal note:Return — six-month period
(4.2) In any case, no more than five months shall have elapsed since the end of the month in which a return was last filed without a return being filed by the individual under subsection (3), even if, since the last return, no communication was made as referred to in paragraph (3)(a) and the circumstances referred to in paragraphs (3)(b) and (c) have not arisen, in which case the report shall so state.
Marginal note:Termination of reporting obligation
(4.3) The obligation to file a return under subsection (3) terminates when the undertaking has been performed or is terminated and a report has been filed under that subsection advising of that fact in accordance with paragraph (3)(c).
Marginal note:Information requested by Commissioner
(5) An individual who files a return shall provide the Commissioner, in the prescribed form and manner, with such information as the Commissioner may request to clarify any information that the individual has provided to the Commissioner pursuant to this section, and shall do so not later than thirty days after the request is made.
Marginal note:Restriction on application
(6) This section does not apply in respect of anything that an employee undertakes to do on the sole behalf of their employer or, where their employer is a corporation, in respect of anything that the employee, at the direction of the employer, undertakes to do on behalf of any subsidiary of the employer or any corporation of which the employer is a subsidiary.
Marginal note:For greater certainty
(7) For greater certainty, an individual who undertakes to communicate with a public office holder as described in paragraph (1)(a) is not required to file more than one return under subsection (1) with respect to the undertaking, even though the individual, in connection with that undertaking, communicates with more than one public office holder or communicates with one or more public office holders on more than one occasion.
- R.S., 1985, c. 44 (4th Supp.), s. 5
- 1995, c. 12, s. 3
- 1999, c. 31, s. 163(F)
- 2003, c. 10, s. 4
- 2006, c. 9, ss. 69, 81
- Date modified: