Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Act

The Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Act   was adopted unanimously by the National Assembly on June 13, 2002. It recognizes the legitimacy of lobbying and the right of the public to know who is attempting to influence the decision-makers of parliamentary, government and municipal institutions.

When they attempt to influence decisions with elected officials and public servants, lobbyists must register in the Lobbyists Registry and respect the Code of Conduct for Lobbyists.

Carrefour Lobby Québec concretizes the transparency of lobbying activities. The registrations must always reflect the actual lobbying activities in which the lobbyists engage. By consulting the Registry, the public is informed of the lobbyists’ attempt to influence. Before decisions are made, the public in turn may address elected officials and public servants and thus participate in public decision-making processes.

Like the Québec legislation on political party financing or access to information, the Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Act contributes to improve democratic life and strengthen public confidence in public institutions.

Main points of the Act

In short, the Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Act:

  • defines lobbying activities and establishes classes of lobbyists;
  • provides for the registration and update, in a public registry, of information pertaining, in particular, to lobbyists and the subject-matter of their activities;
  • stipulates that the Commissioner of Lobbying is appointed by the National Assembly and therefore is independent of the government administration;
  • gives the Commissioner of Lobbying the mandate to monitor and control lobbying activities;
  • gives the Commissioner the powers required to conduct inspections and inquiries regarding any breach of the Act or the Code;
  • provides for the Commission to draft and adopt a Code of Conduct for Lobbyists;
  • prohibits certain lobbying practices;
  • provides for disciplinary measures and penalties in case of a breach of the Act or the Code;
  • stipulates that the commissioner can issue confidentiality orders.

An Act that implements fundamental rights

The Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Act implements fundamental rights guaranteed by the Canadian and Québec Charters. For example:

  • the right to information;
  • freedom of expression;
  • the right to vote.

In a democracy, the public can exercise these rights effectively only if the transparency of public institutions is concrete.

Access to information enables them to understand the choices the public authorities must face.

See the complete version of the Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Act  , the Code of Conduct for Lobbyists   and the Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Act Exclusions Regulation  .

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