A new lobbying ban that will prohibit former cabinet ministers and senior government staff from lobbying the provincial government for two years will take effect May 1, 2018.
Right now, former public-office holders are not prohibited from lobbying after leaving public office. According to the NDP government, senior public officials who become lobbyists may have insider knowledge and influence over former colleagues.
“The prohibition balances the interests of having well-informed policy-makers who contribute to the democratic process, and ensures a level playing field for all lobbyists,” Attorney General David Eby said. “It will eliminate the potential for undue influence, and the improper use of insider knowledge in lobbying.”
The Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists will be able to grant exemptions from the two-year ban, on a case-by-case basis, if it determined to be in the public interest. If the registrar makes an exemption, the reason, as well as terms and conditions, must be made public.
Non-compliance with the prohibition will lead to administrative penalties, the government said.
The former public-office holders who will be banned from lobbying for two years include former cabinet ministers and their staff (excluding administrative personnel), parliamentary secretaries, deputy ministers, ministry CEOs, associate deputy ministers or positions of equivalent rank, which include the two most senior executive positions, chair and vice-chair of governing bodies at: universities, colleges, school boards, health authority boards, hospitals, workers’ compensation board, and a number of Crown corporations, agencies and associations.
Lobbyists will now be required to register the names of staff or ministers or MLAs they have lobbied or expect to lobby.