June 14, 2018 •
Amendments to Alberta’s Lobbying Law Take Effect
On June 11, several significant amendments to Alberta’s provincial lobbying law took effect when the Lobbyists Amendment Act, 2018, came into force by Royal Assent. The most substantial change in the existing Lobbyist Act is the reduction of an organizational lobbyist’s time threshold from 100 hours annually to 50 hours annually.
For the purposes of determining whether lobbying amounts to 50 hours annually, time spent lobbying includes time spent preparing for communication and communicating with a public office holder. Contingency lobbying is now prohibited under the Act.
Another change to the law amends the definition of lobbying to statutorily include grassroots communication as a form of regulated lobbying requiring registration. Grassroots communication does not include communication between an organization and its members, officers or employees or between a person or partnership and its shareholders, partners, officers or employees.
A lobbyist gift ban has been enacted and reads as follows, “Lobbyists are prohibited from giving or promising any gift, favor or other benefit to the public office holder being, or intended to be, lobbied that the public office holder is prohibited from accepting or that, if given, would place the public office holder in a conflict of interest.”
An additional exemption to the requirement of registering as a lobbyist was added for individuals who are recognized as elders by their aboriginal community.
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