Federal Lobbying Act FAQ

Q. Who is Government and Community Engagement (“GCE”)?

A. Under External Relations, our task is to foster relationships between the University of Manitoba and all levels of government. We also work towards getting the University and our community more involved with each other. Our ultimate goal is to provide a positive view of the University to the government and the community and to show our value.

Q. NEW: Who is a Public Office Holder (“POH”)?

A. “public office holder” means any officer or employee of Her Majesty in right of Canada and includes:

  • (a) a member of the Senate or the House of Commons and any person on the staff of such a member,
  • (b) a person who is appointed to any office or body by or with the approval of the Governor in Council or a minister of the Crown, other than a judge receiving a salary under the Judges Act or the lieutenant governor of a province,
  • (c) an officer, director or employee of any federal board, commission or other tribunal as defined in the Federal Courts Act,
  • (d) a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, and
  • (e) a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Q. NEW: Who is a Designated Public Office Holder (“DPOH”)?

A. From the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada Website:

The Act created a statutory category of "designated public office holder" to include ministers, ministerial staff, deputy ministers and chief executives of departments and agencies, officials in departments and agencies at the rank of associate deputy minister and assistant deputy minister, as well as those occupying positions of comparable rank.

The first eleven positions or classes of positions were designated by way of regulation on July 2, 2008:

  • Chief of the Defence Staff (Canadian Forces) 
  • Vice Chief of the Defence Staff (Canadian Forces) 
  • Chief of Maritime Staff (Canadian Forces)
  • Chief of Land Staff (Canadian Forces)
  • Chief of Air Staff (Canadian Forces) 
  • Chief of Military Personnel (Canadian Forces)
  • Judge Advocate General (Canadian Forces) 
  • Any positions of Senior Advisor to the Privy Council Office to which the office holder appointed by the Governor in Council
  • Deputy Minister (Intergovernmental Affairs) (Privy Council Office)
  • Comptroller General of Canada
  • Any position to which the office holder is appointed pursuant to paragraph 127.1(a) or (b) of the Service Employment Act

The next three positions or classes of positions were designated by way of regulation on September 20, 2010: 

  • Members of Parliament 
  • Members of the Senate
  • Any staff working in the offices of the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons or in the Senate, appointed pursuant to subsection 128(1) of the Public Service Employment Act.

    In certain cases, an individual who occupies a DPOH position on an "acting" basis may become a DPOH for the purposes of the Act.

Q. What communications/meetings should I include on the form?

A. You must include any communication to a federal public officer made as part of your duties on behalf of the University in respect of (a) the development of any legislative proposal by the Government of Canada or by a member of Senate or Parliament; (b) the introduction of any Bill or resolution in either House of Parliament or the passage, defeat or amendment of any Bill or resolution that is before either House of Parliament; (c) The making or amendment of any regulation; (d) the development or amendment of any policy or program of the Government of Canada; or (e) the awarding of any grant, contribution or other financial benefit by or on behalf of Her Majesty in right of Canada. Please note that you are not required to report communications made on your own behalf, or made in respect of matters not listed above.

Q. What about communications initiated by the DPOH, is that still considered lobbying?

A. Yes, if it is financial in nature. The Lobbying Commissioner’s Office provides the following direction:
“Registrants must now report oral and arranged communications with a DPOH, (except if initiated by the DPOH), related to the development of policy, programs or legislation. However, oral and arranged communications related to financial benefits are required to be reported, even when initiated by a DPOH.”

“The table below summarizes the criteria to be used to determine whether or not to report certain communications with a DPOH, (Yes) or (No).”**

Oral and arranged communication(s)

Related to the development of policies, programs or legislations

Related to financial benefits, i.e. a grant or contribution

Initiated by a lobbyist:

Yes

Yes

Initiated by a DPOH:

No

Yes

 

 

  ** If you are at all unsure about whether or not a communication needs to be reported, please either contact GCE or include it in your report it to GCE and we can determine if it needs to be included on our end.**

Q. Why am I being asked to report who I’ve communicated with from the Federal Government?

A. We are legally obligated to report this information to the Federal Government in compliance with The Lobbying Act every month. Not all communications will necessarily fall under the definition of “lobbying” but GCE can verify which communications apply at our end so you don’t have to.

Q. Who is the information going to?

A. Any communications with Federal Government that fall under their “lobbying” guideline is reported to the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying. These in turn are publicly accessible (as per The Lobbying Act). All other communications are received by GCE only.

Q. Does this mean I need to ask permission or get approval in order to meet with government officials?

A.  Absolutely not. We are only asking for this information to comply with the Federal Lobbying Act and for our own information in GCE. However, should you wish to communicate with a government official, or would like to invite someone to your event, but are not exactly sure who to contact or have questions about protocol, please feel free to contact our office and we would be glad to provide you with the information you need.

Q. I still don’t understand / I have concerns / I disagree with this

A.  Federal lobbying activities must be reported by law. Please refer to the website of the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada at http://ocl-cal.gc.ca/eic/site/012.nsf/eng/home. If you have any further questions or concerns regarding the above or the form, please contact our Government Relations Associate at 204-474-8633 or govcomm@umanitoba.ca