British Columbia In-House Lobbyist Guidance Issued For Upcoming Changes - State and Federal Communications

March 4, 2020  •  

British Columbia In-House Lobbyist Guidance Issued For Upcoming Changes

British Columbia Legislature

British Columbia’s Office of the Registrar issued a guidance document for organizations last month.

This in anticipation of the changes to the province’s lobbying laws taking effect on May 4.

The guidance document provides an overview for organizations with in-house lobbyists under the Lobbyists Transparency Act.

Beginning on May 4, the time threshold for requiring in-house lobbyists to register is reduced from 100 hours to 50 hours in the preceding 12-month period.

Time spent preparing to lobby, researching and writing reports, and strategizing would be included in calculating the time threshold required for registration.

However, activities predating a decision to lobbying would “likely not be included in the calculation,” according to the published guidance.

Organizations that are not member-based or that do not have a primary purpose to promote or oppose issues may qualify for the exception.

This is only if the organizations have fewer than six employees and the lobbying activities add up to fewer than 50 hours in the preceding 12-month period.

Examples of organizations unlikely to qualify for the exemption are unions and chambers of commerce.

Presently, a new online Lobbyists Registry is in development to replace the current Lobbyists Registry.

This registry is scheduled to launch on May 4, 2020.

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