Today, the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying (OCL) released several new guidances related to the Code of Conduct for Lobbyists. The updated guidances replace the current documents and cover important topics including political activities (Rule 9), gifts (Rule 10) and conflict of interest resulting from preferential access (Rule 7 & 8).
There are no major shifts in policy in the new guidances. Overall, we are pleased to see brevity and more clarity in the new guidances and believe this will make them easier to understand and enforce. While the new versions do not address all issues raised by members in the past, they do take significant steps in the right direction addressing several of the key pain points previously identified by the Government Relations Institute of Canada (GRIC), on behalf of our members. After several years without change, we appreciate the Commissioner’s efforts to undertake these revisions at this time.
The OCL consulted with both government stakeholders and industry, including GRIC, in developing these updated guidances. On behalf of GRIC members, we were able to affect change in several areas during the consultation which we feel has resulted in clearer, simpler and more useful guidance on these rules for the benefit of the government relations community. GRIC collaborated with our partners at the Public Affairs Association of Canada (PAAC) to inform our recommendations to the OCL.
You can access the new guidance documents here https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/eic/site/012.nsf/eng/h_00015.html