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ARCHIVED - Government of Canada Publishes New Rules for Lobbyists

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For immediate release

January 04, 2008

Ottawa - The Honourable Vic Toews, President of the Treasury Board, today announced the prepublication of regulations necessary for the coming into force of the Lobbying Act, delivering on one of the key components of the Federal Accountability Act.

"Cleaning up lobbying is a key commitment within the Federal Accountability Act.  It is essential to have clear rules to ensure lobbying is done ethically and transparently," Minister Toews said.  "While interacting and advocating with government is legitimate, it is important that lobbyists have clear reporting responsibilities. At the same time, Canadians must have access to information about who is lobbying public-office holders and in what context. The proposed regulations deliver on both these imperatives," added Minister Toews.

The proposed regulations set out the administrative measures necessary for lobbyists to comply with the new registration requirements under the Lobbying Act, including the types of lobbying communications that must be registered in monthly returns.

An additional set of regulations prescribe certain positions, including those in the Canadian Forces and the Privy Council Office, as being occupied by designated public office holders under the Lobbying Act.  Officials occupying these positions will join hundreds of others already included under the new Lobbying Act provisions. The new regulatory and statutory provisions on lobbying will be administered by the new Commissioner of Lobbying upon coming into force.

The changes brought by the Lobbying Act will give the new Commissioner of Lobbying the independence and necessary powers to ensure that lobbying is done in a transparent and ethical way.

Furthermore, Canadians will have easy access, through the Internet, to information about lobbying activities. They will be reassured that former senior public officials do not use their personal connections to obtain special favours from government once they leave office, and that conflict of interest situations do not arise while they hold office.

This announcement is part of the implementation of the Federal Accountability Act. Through the Federal Accountability Act and its accompanying Action Plan, the Government of Canada has brought forward specific measures to strengthen accountability in government. More information on the Federal Accountability Act and Action Plan is available at www.accountability.gc.ca.

Regulations are published in the Canada Gazette in two parts.  The prepublication of the regulations in Part I constitutes the consultation process for the proposed regulations. It is through Part I that Canadians have a chance to submit their comments on proposed regulations before they are enacted. Once the final regulations have received approval by the Governor in Council, they will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

The proposed regulations necessary for the coming into force of the Lobbying Act are available on the Canada Gazette Web site at www.canadagazette.gc.ca.

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For more information, contact:

Mike Storeshaw
Director of Communications
Office of the President of the Treasury Board
(613) 957-2666

Robert Makichuk
Chief, Media Relations
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
(613) 957-2391

If there is a discrepancy between any printed version and the electronic version of this document, the electronic version will prevail.