Notice regarding the enforcement of the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct
Triggering Powers of Investigation through Alleged Breaches of a Principle or Rule
The introduction of the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct states that:
"The Commissioner of Lobbying has the authority to administer and enforce the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct if there is an alleged breach of either a principle or a rule of the Code"
The Commissioner holds that a breach of a principle is as feasible as a breach of a rule. In fact, she sees them as interrelated, such that breaching a rule likely breaches its related principle. For example, a lobbyist, who does not provide accurate and factual information to a public office holder, breaches Rule 2 of the Code, Accurate Information, and arguably, breaches aspects of the Principles of Integrity and Honesty, and that of Professionalism as well.
Given the interrelationship of a rule to a principle, the powers of investigation of the Commissioner of Lobbying can be triggered in the case of both breaches of principles and rules of the Code. Section 10.4 (1) of the Lobbying Act states that "the Commissioner shall conduct an investigation if he or she has reason to be believe…that an investigation is necessary to ensure compliance with the Act or the Code, as applicable."
Rule 8 — Conflict of Interest (November 2009)
In its decision, Federal Court of Appeal website Democracy Watch v. Barry Campbell and the Attorney General of Canada (Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists), the Federal Court of Appeal ruled that the September 2002 Guidelines issued by the former Ethics Counsellor regarding Rule 8 of the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct (Rule 8 — Improper Influence — Lobbyists and Leadership Campaigns) were unreasonable.
The Commissioner of Lobbying reviewed and studied the Federal Court of Appeal's decision and developed the following guidance on Rule 8:
- Commissioner's Guidance on Conflict of Interest — Rule 8
- Annex — Reasoning Underlying the Commissioner's Guidance on Conflict of Interest — Rule 8 (Lobbyists' Code of Conduct)
- Commissioner's Advice on the Application of Rule 8 to Lobbyists Involved in Political Activities
- Clarifications about Political Activities in the Context of Rule 8
- Questions and Answers for the Commissioner's Guidance on Conflict of Interest — Rule 8 (Lobbyists' Code of Conduct)