The Commissioner may investigate if he believes on reasonable grounds that a lobbyist has not respected any provision of the Act or of the Code of Conduct for Lobbyists.
For a lobbyist, contravening the Act is punishable by penal and civil penalties as well as disciplinary measures.
Penal: Fines of $500 to $25,000 depending on the nature of the offence. These fines may be doubled in case of recidivism;
Civil: The Attorney General may claim from the lobbyist the value of the consideration received or payable as a result of the lobbying activities that gave rise to the breach;
Disciplinary measures: In the event of a serious or repeated breach, the Commissioner of Lobbying may prohibit the practice of lobbying activities for up to 12 months;
A lobbyist who does not respect the Act risks undermining his credibility with elected officials, public servants as well as with the public’s opinion.
For more information on the sanctions that may be imposed on lobbyists who contravene the Act, see sections 53 to 65 of the Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Act.