May 4, 2020: British Columbia Lobbying Law Changes Coming - State and Federal Communications

December 24, 2019  •  

May 4, 2020: British Columbia Lobbying Law Changes Coming

British Columbia Legislature

On May 4, 2020, several key changes of British Columbia’s lobbying law come into effect, including changing the name of the Lobbyist Registration Act to the Lobbyist Transparency Act. The legislation making the changes, Bill 54, Lobbyists Registration Amendment Act, 2018, received royal assent on November 27, 2019.

Other coming changes include:

  • Reducing the time threshold for requiring in-house lobbyists to register from 100 hours to 50 hours annually
  • Adding the requirement for lobbyists to complete a monthly return containing details of actual lobbying activities in the previous month by the 15th of each subsequent month
  • Declarations in those returns of what code of conduct the lobbyists has undertaken and where it is available for public viewing

Additionally, a newly enacted prohibition on gifts from lobbyists is included in the bill. However, the prohibition does not apply if the gift is given under the protocol or social obligations normally accompanying the duties of a public office holder and the total value of the gift given, directly or indirectly, is less $100 in a 12-month period.

Beginning in May, the registrar will also have the power to impose a prohibition on lobbying for up to 2 years.

Presently, a new online Lobbyists Registry is in development to replace the current Lobbyists Registry and is scheduled to launch on May 4, 2020.

Also effective on May 4, 2020, the Lobbyists Registration Regulation is repealed and the Lobbyist Transparency Regulation is enacted.

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