A Guide to Registration (Page 5 of 7)

5. Create an Organization Registration

Organizations that employ individuals who communicate with public office holders on certain subject matters on behalf of the organization are required to register if those duties constitute a significant part of the duties of one employee or would constitute a significant part of the duties of one employee if they were performed by only one employee.

The most senior paid employee of an organization should use this registration type if one or more employees' duties entail communication with public office holders, and the collective time devoted to those duties equates to 20% or more of one employee's time over a one month period. Note that the time spent communicating, travelling and preparing for communicating with public office holders should be included in the calculation.

In situations where the time related to lobbying is difficult to estimate, the most senior paid employee will have to estimate the relative importance of the lobbying activities by examining, for example, the various duties for which the employee is responsible and determining the proportion related to lobbying activities.

For more information please see the Interpretation Bulletin on A Significant Part of Duties ("The 20% Rule").

The registration must include the names of all remunerated employees who lobby on behalf of the organization.

Because they are not employees, remunerated external members of Boards of Directors who lobby on behalf of an organization for which they are Directors, cannot register as in-house lobbyists (organizations). The same rule applies to members of organizations who are paid to lobby on behalf of those same organizations. They must instead register as consultant lobbyists within 10 days of accepting, verbally or in writing, to lobby on behalf of the organization. See Advisory Opinion on Application of the Act to outside chairpersons and members.

Please follow the instructions below to register your organization's lobbying activities:

Screenshot 7-Registrant Dashboard
Screenshot 7-Registrant Dashboard

The LRS Registrant Dashboard displaying a red arrow pointing to the "New Activities" tab.

In the New Activities tab of the Registrant Dashboard, select In-house Organization.

5.1 Responsible Officer and Organization

The first step of the registration process captures information about the most senior paid employee of the organization.

Only the most senior paid employee of the organization can submit a registration on behalf of the organization.

Responsible Officer

This section uses the name of the registrant (who is the most senior paid employee of the organization) and requests his/her position title. Examples of the position titles of registrants in organizations are Executive Director, President, Chief Executive Officer, General Manager and/or Chief Operating Officer.

Organization Contact

This section requests the French and English names of the organization, if applicable, as well as its contact coordinates (address and telephone number).

Description of Organization

This section asks for a general description of the organization's activities and its membership, so as to provide a context for the organization's lobbying activities.

5.2 Organizational Lobbyists

The second step of the registration process captures information about the employees of the organization who are involved in lobbying.

Click the Add Lobbyist button to add an organizational lobbyist. Click the Add the Responsible Officer as a Lobbyist button if the Responsible Officer is carrying out any lobbying duties and is therefore an organizational lobbyist.

A new screen will open, allowing you to capture the name and position of each lobbyist.

Work History with the Federal Government

For each lobbyist within the organization that has held a public office, you must disclose, for each position held, the position title, the federal government institution, the branch or unit name, as well as the period during which those functions were performed.

Exemption Number

If the Commissioner of Lobbying has granted a lobbyist within your organization an exemption from the five-year prohibition on lobbying activities, please provide the exemption number in this section.
For more information please see the Exemption Review Process.

5.3 Information about Government Funding

In the third step of the registration process, you must disclose if the organization has received any funding during its last completed financial year from Canadian or foreign governments, including any municipal, provincial, territorial, regional or state government or if they expect to receive funding in the current year. If the organization has received funding or expects to receive any such funding during its current financial year, you must report the source of that funding.

Funding means money made available for a particular purpose for which goods or services are not received in return, or for which repayment is not required. It includes federal grants and non-repayable contributions, but repayable contributions, loans, loan guarantees, tax credits, remission orders and procurement contracts would not need to be reported.

The following table provides examples of funding that should and should not be reported.

Government Funding
to be Reported
Government Funding
not to be Reported
  • Various government grants
  • Non-repayable contributions
  • Any other non-repayable funding
  • Repayable contributions
  • Loans & loan guarantees
  • Tax credits
  • Remission orders
  • Goods and/or service contracts

If you answer Yes to the question regarding whether the organization received government funding, you will be asked to provide the source and amount of the funding in Canadian dollars.

5.4 Information about Subject Matter

The fourth step of the registration process requires that you provide the subject matter of your lobbying activity as well as the associated details such as the title of each legislative proposal, bill or resolution, regulation, policy or program, along with a description.

Subject Matter of the Lobbying Activity

In a drop-down menu, this section provides an extensive list from which you can choose the subject matter (e.g., Agriculture, Budget, Defence, Immigration, Mining, Transportation, etc.). You may add as many Subject Matters as apply to your lobbying activity.

From the list of topics provided in the drop-down menu, select the one that best describes the subject matter of your lobbying activities, then click the Add to List button. Repeat this selection process for each subject matter that applies.

Details Regarding the Identified Subject Matter

In this section, you must provide details of each of the subject matters that you selected above, and check from a list of four associated categories (i.e., Legislative Proposal, Bill or Resolution; Regulation; Policies or Program; Grant, Contribution or Other Financial Benefit). Each Detail must be entered and added to the list separately, and provide specific information related to the subject matter of the lobbying activities.

Several examples are provided within the application. These are further examples of the type of detail that should be provided for each subject matter:

  • Subject Matter: "Environment". Category: "Legislative Proposal, Bill or Resolution". Details: Bill C-30, Clean Air Act in respect of quotas for greenhouse gases.
  • Subject Matter: "Health". Category: "Regulation". Details: Amendments to the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliances) Regulations regarding the right to appeal.
  • Subject Matter: "Energy". Category: "Policies or Program". Details: Canada's energy policy with respect to rules governing energy trade between Canada and the United States.
  • Subject Matter: "Arts and Culture". Category: "Grant, Contribution or Other Financial Benefit". Details: Seeking funding from the Canada Book Fund (CBF) for marketing and promotion.
For each subject matter selected, please provide a detailed description of the activity, then from the list of four choices offered, select the associated category.

5.5 Information about Communication

In this final step, you will be asked to provide the list of the government departments that you have contacted or plan to contact as well as the communication techniques that you will use in the course of your lobbying activities.

The Commissioner has issued an Interpretation Bulletin providing guidance on Communication with Federal Public Office Holders.

Government Institutions

A drop-down menu allows you to choose the Federal Government institutions with which you will communicate.

If your lobbying activities bring you into contact with government institutions that are not included in this list, please inform the OCL so that these new institutions may be added for the convenience of all registrants.

Communication Techniques

Three pre-defined choices are offered (oral, written, grass-roots) or you may provide, in your own words, a description of any other type of communication that you plan to employ. Please see the Glossary for a definition of grass-roots communication.

Check off all the communication techniques that you have used or expect to use in the course of your lobbying activities.

5.6 Certification and Submission of Registration

The Organization Summary screen displays the information you provided in each step of the registration. Consequently, it contains five sections.

Screenshot 8-Organization Summary Screen with Status Symbols
Screenshot 8-Organization Summary Screen with Status Symbols

The LRS Organization summary screen displaying a red arrow pointing towards the three different types of status symbols. The white circle represents an incomplete section, the green circle represents a completed section and the red circle represents a section that needs review. Another red arrow is pointing towards an example of a status symbol located in the "Information about Responsible Officer and Organization" section.

Each section of the Organization Summary screen is preceded by a Status symbol. All sections must be complete before the registration can be submitted.

You can review the entries made in each step, and if you wish to modify the content, click the Edit Information about… button at the bottom of each section.

Screenshot 9-Organization Summary Screen-Certify and Submit the registration
Screenshot 9-Organization Summary Screen-Certify and Submit the registration

The LRS Organization summary screen displaying red arrows pointing towards the "Edit" buttons to modify the registration and another red arrow pointing towards the "Certify and Submit" button to submit the registration.

Once you have reviewed your Organization Summary, click on the Certify and Submit button.

The Certification of Return page will appear. It asks that you certify that the information is true.

Effective Date

In a calendar box at the bottom of the page, you are asked to enter the date on which this submission takes effect.

In this calendar box, you must enter the effective date of your lobbying activity and not the date that you certify your registration, which is often a few days later. The Lobbying Act requires that in-house lobbyists file an initial registration no later than two months after the day on which the requirement to file a return arises.

Once you have entered the effective date of your lobbying activity, enter your Account Username and Password, and then click on the Submit button to submit your registration for review by the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying.

The Confirmation of Filing page will appear, providing summary account information and confirming your submission date to the OCL. Additionally, an acknowledgment email will be sent. During the OCL review process, if the registration requires any corrections or clarifications, an email will be sent. If corrections are required, you will be asked to resubmit your registration with the required detail within 10 calendar days.

As soon as your registration is submitted, you can start filing monthly communication reports. For information on submitting reports, please refer to Chapter 7.

5.7 Activities Following Registration

Chapter 7 describes activities that will occur after you register as a lobbyist. These include: