Citizens live in a democratic society where they are guaranteed several fundamental rights: the right to vote, the right to petition, the right of association, the right to freedom of expression, and the right to equality, to cite only a few. They can exercise their rights effectively only if they have access to information that allows them to understand all the issues of public decisions or debates. Information is essential to the exercise of democratic rights.
The Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Act provides a new dimension to the right to information by allowing the public to know who is attempting to influence public office holders. Thus, citizens can present their point of view or participate in the public debate before decisions are made.
While being legitimate, lobbying must be practised transparently, meaning that the public is able to know who is seeking to influence public decision-makers.
The Act provides that those seeking to influence the decisions of public office holders must register in the Lobbyists Registry, while ensuring they describe their mandates and identify their clients. The public must take advantage of their right to know who is attempting to influence public institutions by remaining alert to what is happening in public institutions and consulting the Lobbyists Registry.