A Guide to Registration
How Are the Registration Requirements Enforced?
It is the responsibility of lobbyists to comply with the Lobbying Act.
The Commissioner has an education mandate and a communications program which are intended to help facilitate compliance with the Act. The Commissioner may also issue advisory opinions and interpretation bulletins to help lobbyists and registrants understand the Act's registration provisions as well as the requirements of the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct.
The Act provides for substantial penalties for lobbyists if they fail to register, or make false or misleading statements in their disclosures. The Commissioner shall conduct an investigation if he or she has reason to believe that an investigation is necessary to ensure compliance with the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct or the Act. If, during the course of an investigation, the Commissioner believes on reasonable grounds that a person has committed an offence under the Act or any other Act of Parliament or of the legislature of a province, the Commissioner may advise a peace officer having jurisdiction to investigate the alleged offence.
Section 14 of the Act states that such contraventions may carry fines of up to $50,000 and/or jail terms of up to 6 months upon summary conviction, and up to $200,000 and/or two years imprisonment on indictment. The Act sets a 5-year limitation period for summary conviction from the date the Commissioner became aware of the offence and 10 years after the day the alleged offence occurred. Further, the Commissioner may prohibit a person convicted of an offence under the Act from lobbying for up to 2 years.
The Commissioner (and his/her delegates) has the authority to request clarification or verification of any information submitted by lobbyists, including monthly reports regarding communications with designated public office holders. Under the Act, lobbyists are required to respond to these requests within 30 days. As well, lobbyists and registrants must make any corrections to their submitted disclosures within 10 days of the Commissioner's or his/her delegate's request.