We had a riveting time learning about Lobbying law in different jurisdictions in Canada with Dr. Stephen Andrews of Borden Ladner Gervais L.L.P. (BLG). Dr. Stephen Andrews is a government relations advisor for BLG’s Toronto office and has a lot of valuable knowledge about government relations and lobbying laws.
Dr. Andrews took us through the intricacies of Federal, Provincial and Municipal Lobbying laws. We learned about the Federal government’s definition of conflict of interest and the importance of ensuring that a Member does not have a sense of obligation toward a group that is lobbying. Dr. Andrews also warned us of the consequences when a lobbyist doesn’t follow the rules – which we all found to be extremely interesting!
We also had the pleasure of learning about the Provincial lobbying registry and that there are around 5,000 lobbyists in Ontario and 7,000 lobbyists at the Federal level. In addition, we heard some great things about Ontario’s Integrity Commissioner, Lynn Morrison, whom we had the pleasure of meeting in September.
On the municipal level, Dr. Andrews told us about the nuances of Toronto’s lobbying by-laws – which proved to be eye-opening for all of us who had not previously known about lobbying laws on the Municipal level. Some interesting facts we learned were that non-profit organizations are exempt from registering and that Toronto is one of the few jurisdictions where non-paid lobbyists have to register.
After our meeting with Dr. Andrews, we are all confident that we know a lot more about the ins and outs of Canadian lobbying laws and government relations.