Highlights of the Act
The Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Act supports public office holders by allowing them, among other things, to:
The objects of the Act are the following:
- identify the interlocutor (the lobbyist) attempting to influence their decisions;
- determine the interests represented by the lobbyist;
- understand the nature of the issues involved in complex files;
- make enlightened decisions in the public interest.
The Act defines the nature of:
- ensure the transparency of lobbying activities carried out with public office holders (the creation of a Lobbyists Registry is the means to achieve this objective);
- ensure the proper conduct of lobbying activities, especially through the establishment of a Code of Conduct for Lobbyists.
The Lobbyists Registry:
- lobbying activities: all oral or written communications in an attempt to influence the decisions of public office holders regarding specific matters;
- categories of lobbyists: consultant lobbyists, enterprise lobbyists and organization lobbyists.
The Lobbyists Commissioner:
- lobbyists are required to declare in the registry information regarding their lobbying activities (including their mandates and the object of their activities) and to keep this information updated;
- the registry is under the responsibility of the Ministère de la Justice du Québec;
- the Lobbyists Registry is public and can be consulted without charge, at any time, on the Internet at www.lobby.gouv.qc.ca.
Disciplinary measures and penal sanctions:
- the Act creates the office of the Québec Lobbyists Commissioner; Mr François Casgrain now occupies this position;
- the Lobbyists Commissioner is appointed by the National Assembly, to which he is answerable, in the same way as 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 make inspections and conduct inquiries when there is a breach of the Act or of the Code of Conduct for Lobbyists;
- the budget of the Lobbyists Commissioner is granted by the Office of the National Assembly.
- the Act provides for disciplinary measures and penal sanctions in cases of breach of the prescriptions of the Act or of the Code of Conduct for Lobbyists;
- disciplinary measures: lobbyists are prohibited from registering in the Lobbyists Registry for a period of up to one year;
- reimbursement of all compensation received or payable as a result of the activities that gave rise to the breach;
- penal sanctions: all contraveners to the Act or to the Code of Conduct for Lobbyists are liable to fines ranging from $500 to $25,000. Fines are doubled in the case of a subsequent offence.
See the unabridged version of the Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Act