Highlights of the Act
The Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Act was passed unanimously by the members of the National Assembly on June 13, 2002. The objectives of the Act are as follows:
The Act defines:
- ensure the transparency of the lobbying of public office holders (the creation of a Lobbyists Registry is the means used to achieve this objective);
- ensure the proper conduct of lobbying activities, especially through the establishment of the Code of Conduct for Lobbyists.
- lobbying activities, as all oral and written communications in an attempt to influence the decisions of public office holders on specific issues;
- categories of lobbyists as consultant lobbyists, enterprise lobbyists and organization lobbyists.
The Lobbyists Commissioner:
- lobbyists are required to declare information on their lobbying activities in the registry (including their mandates and the subject-matter of their activities) and to update this information;
- the registry is under the responsibility of the Ministère de la Justice du Québec;
- the Lobbyists Registry is public and can be consulted free of charge. It is accessible at any time through the Internet at www.lobby.gouv.qc.ca.
Disciplinary measures and penal sanctions:
- the Act creates the office of the Lobbyists Commissioner of Québec. Mr. François Casgrain currently holds this office;
- the Lobbyists Commissioner is appointed by the National Assembly, which he reports to, as do the Auditor General of Québec, the Ombudsman and the Chief Electoral Officer;
- the mandate of the Lobbyists Commissioner is to ensure the supervision and control of lobbying activities;
- the Lobbyists Commissioner can carry out inspections and make inquiries in cases of transgression of the Act or of the Code of Conduct for Lobbyists;
- the Lobbyists Commissioner's budget is allocated by the Office of the National Assembly.
- certain lobbying practices are forbidden. The Act provides for disciplinary measures and penal sanctions in the case of a breach of its prescriptions or of the Code of Conduct for Lobbyists;
- disciplinary measures: lobbyists are forbidden to register in the Lobbyists Registry for a period of up to one year;
- the reimbursement of the value of any compensation received or payable as a result of the activities which gave rise to the breaches;
- penal sanctions: anyone who transgresses the Act or the Code of Conduct is liable to a fine ranging from $500 to $25,000. The fines are doubled in cases of repeat offences.
See the unabridged version of the Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Act