Message from the Commissioner of Lobbying
As the Commissioner of Lobbying, my primary responsibilities are to provide a public registry for lobbyists to disclose their activities and to ensure compliance with the Lobbying Act and the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct. My mandate also requires me to implement an education program to raise awareness of the legislation and its requirements among lobbyists, their clients and public office holders.
The Lobbying Act is based on the premise that lobbying is legitimate and must be conducted in a transparent manner. The Registry of Lobbyists continues to be the primary instrument for the public disclosure of lobbying activities. As such, my Office strives to make the system easier to use and more dependable, both for lobbyists to report on their activities and for Canadians to search for this information.
In 2011–12, I intend to continue to reach out to key stakeholder groups, both in the National Capital Region and across the country, to ensure that lobbyists, their clients and public office holders are fully informed of the requirements of the Lobbying Act. It is my belief that the more people know about the Lobbying Act and the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct, the more likely lobbyists are to comply with the requirements set out in the Act and the Code.
I will continue to deal with alleged breaches of the Lobbying Act and the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct in a serious manner. Since becoming Commissioner of Lobbying, I have referred six files to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. My Office's new Case Management System will help streamline and monitor the investigation process. The objective is to close as many files as we open, in order to keep pace with a growing caseload.
The Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying remains committed to fulfilling Parliament's goal of increased transparency and accountability in the lobbying of public office holders. To that end, I intend to support parliamentarians who will be responsible for reviewing the Act in 2011.
Karen E. Shepherd
Commissioner of Lobbying