Am I a lobbyist?

You are a lobbyist if you communicate orally or in writing with a public office holder working for a parliamentary, government or municipal institution in an attempt to influence his decision-making.

For example, if you are a member of a professional society (lawyer, architect, chartered accountant, etc.) or a public relations firm, or the president of a chamber of commerce or in charge of government relations in your firm and engaged in influential communications with a minister, a member of the National Assembly, a public servant, a mayor, a city councillor or another public decision-maker, you must comply with the provisions of the Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Act.

Here are some examples of the activities carried out by lobbyists:

At the municipal level
The end of summer is almost here. This is an ideal time to undertake the construction work a client has asked you to do. Unfortunately, the building permit you need has not been issued yet. Your reflexes and efficiency lead you to exert pressure on the director general, whom you know well, to meet with the responsible officer to help accelerate the procedure.

At the government level
A client asks you to intervene with a Ministère de l’Environnement employee to help you get a derogation to a by-law so that you may be granted a permit for a housing project in a protected area.

At the parliamentary level
You are in charge of government relations in your firm. Your duties include regular communications with your member of the National Assembly and with the Minister responsible for economic development to secure grants for your plant’s development and create jobs in your area.

It is important to note that not all organization lobbyists are subject to the Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Act.

Only the organizations constitued to serve management, union or professional interests, or the majority of whose members are profit-seeking enterprises or representatives of such enterprises, are subject to the rules regulating the practice of lobbying activities. Chambers of commerce, the Conseil du patronat du Québec, the Barreau du Québec, the Québec Medical Association (QMA) and the Québec Federation of Labour (FTQ) are some of the organizations affected by the Act.

On the other hand, Greenpeace, Centraide, the Association of persons suffering from depression or a group of citizens advocating municipal demergers are among non-profit organizations that are not within the scope of the Act, except when they hire a consultant lobbyist to promote their interests.

If you are an organization affected by the Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Act, consult the Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Act Exclusions Regulation.