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The Lobbyists Registration Act
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This version is current as of December 12, 2017.
It has been in effect since June 2, 2017.

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C.C.S.M. c. L178

The Lobbyists Registration Act

(Assented to October 9, 2008)

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

DEFINITIONS

Definitions

1(1)        The following definitions apply in this Act.

"client" means a person or organization on whose behalf a consultant lobbyist undertakes to lobby. (« client »)

"consultant lobbyist" means an individual who, for remuneration or other benefit, undertakes to lobby on behalf of a client. (« lobbyiste-conseil »)

"government agency" means a government agency as defined in The Financial Administration Act. (« organisme gouvernemental »)

"in-house lobbyist" means, subject to subsection (2), an employee, partner or sole proprietor of an organization who lobbies or has a duty to lobby

(a) on behalf of the organization; or

(b) if the organization is a corporation, on behalf of any corporation that controls it or is controlled by it. (« lobbyiste salarié »)

"lobby" means,

(a) in relation to either a consultant lobbyist or an in-house lobbyist, to communicate with a public official in an attempt to influence

(i) the development of a legislative proposal by the government of Manitoba or by a member of the Legislative Assembly,

(ii) the introduction of a bill or resolution in the Legislative Assembly or the amendment, passage or defeat of a bill or resolution that is before the Legislative Assembly,

(iii) the making or amendment of a regulation to which The Statutes and Regulations Act applies,

(iv) the development, amendment or termination of a program or policy of the government of Manitoba or a government agency, or

(v) the awarding of a grant, contribution or other financial benefit by or on behalf of the Crown; and

(b) in relation only to a consultant lobbyist,

(i) to arrange a meeting between a public official and another person, or

(ii) to communicate with a public official in an attempt to influence the awarding of a contract by or on behalf of the Crown. (« lobbyisme »)

"organization" means any of the following, whether incorporated, unincorporated, a partnership or a sole proprietorship:

(a) a business, trade, industry, professional or voluntary organization;

(b) a union or labour organization;

(c) a chamber of commerce or board of trade;

(d) an association, a charitable or non-profit organization, a society, a coalition or an interest group;

(e) a government other than the government of Manitoba. (« organisation »)

"public official" means

(a) a member of the Legislative Assembly and any person on the member's staff;

(b) an employee of the government of Manitoba;

(c) a person who is appointed to an office or body by or with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council or a minister of the government, other than

(i) a judge or a justice of the peace, or

(ii) a person appointed on the recommendation of the Legislative Assembly or a committee of the Legislative Assembly; and

(d) an officer, director or employee of a government agency. (« titulaire d'une charge publique »)

"registrar" means the person appointed as registrar under section 11. (« registraire »)

"senior officer", in relation to an organization, means the most senior officer of the organization who is compensated for performing his or her duties. (« cadre dirigeant »)

"undertaking" means an undertaking by a consultant lobbyist to lobby on behalf of a client. (« engagement »)

Lobbying must constitute significant part of duties

1(2)        An individual is an in-house lobbyist only if

(a) the individual's lobbying or duty to lobby constitutes a significant part of his or her activities as an employee or partner or sole proprietor, determined in accordance with the regulations; or

(b) the individual's lobbying or duty to lobby, together with the lobbying or duty to lobby of

(i) other employees of the organization, or

(ii) if applicable, the partners or the sole proprietor of the organization,

would, if performed by one employee, constitute a significant part of his or her activities as an employee, determined in accordance with the regulations.

Officer as in-house lobbyist

1(3)        An officer or director who is compensated for performing his or her duties is considered to be an employee for the purpose of the definition "in-house lobbyist".

S.M. 2013, c. 39, Sch. A, s. 72.

PURPOSE

Purpose of this Act

2           The purpose of this Act is to recognize that

(a) free and open access to government is an important matter of public interest;

(b) lobbying public officials is a legitimate activity when appropriately conducted;

(c) it is desirable that public officials and the public be able to know who is attempting to influence government; and

(d) a system for registering paid lobbyists should not impede access to government.

NON-APPLICATION OF THIS ACT

Non-application of this Act

3(1)        This Act does not apply to any of the following persons when acting in their official capacity:

(a) members of the House of Commons or Senate of Canada or persons on their staff;

(b) members of the Legislative Assembly of another province or territory or persons on their staff;

(c) employees in the civil service of the province;

(d) employees of the Government of Canada or the government of another province or territory;

(e) officers, directors or employees of a charitable or not-for-profit organization, unless the organization is constituted to serve employer, union or professional interests or the interests of for-profit organizations;

(f) members of a municipal council, school board or other local government body, or persons on their staff, or officers or employees of a municipality, school board or other local government body;

(g) officers or employees of bodies representing municipal councils, school boards or other local government bodies;

(h) officers, directors or employees of an organization that represents governmental interests of a group of aboriginal people, including

(i) the council of a band as defined in the Indian Act (Canada), and

(ii) an organization representing one or more bands;

(i) diplomatic agents, consular officers or official representatives in Canada of a foreign government;

(j) officials of a specialized agency of the United Nations in Canada or officials of any other international organization to whom privileges and immunities are granted by or under an Act of the Parliament of Canada;

(k) any other person or class of persons specified in the regulations.

Act does not apply to certain submissions

3(2)        This Act does not apply in respect of an oral or written submission made as follows:

(a) made in proceedings that are a matter of public record to a committee of the Legislative Assembly or to a body or person having jurisdiction or powers conferred by or under an Act;

(b) made to a public official by an individual on behalf of a person or organization, concerning

(i) the enforcement, interpretation or application of an Act or regulation by the public official with respect to the person or organization, or

(ii) the implementation or administration of a program, policy, directive or guideline by the public official with respect to the person or organization;

(c) made to a public official by an individual on behalf of a person or organization, in direct response to a written request from a public official for advice or comment on a matter;

(d) made to a member of the Legislative Assembly by or on behalf of a constituent of the member respecting a personal matter of the constituent;

(e) made to a public official by a union relating to

(i) the administration or negotiation of a collective agreement with the government or a government agency, or

(ii) the representation of a member or former member of a bargaining unit who is or was employed by the government or a government agency.

Disclosure not required if threat to safety

3(3)        This Act does not require identifying information about a person to be disclosed if the registrar is satisfied that disclosure could reasonably be expected to threaten the person's safety.

WHEN RETURNS MUST BE FILED

When return must be filed: consultant lobbyist

4(1)        A consultant lobbyist must file a return with the registrar within 10 days after entering into an undertaking to lobby on behalf of a client.

Only one return

4(2)        A consultant lobbyist need file only one return under subsection (1) for each undertaking even though he or she, in connection with the undertaking,

(a) communicates with more than one public official on more than one occasion; or

(b) arranges more than one meeting between a public official and any other person.

Transitional

4(3)        If a consultant lobbyist is performing an undertaking when this section comes into force, he or she must file a return within 30 days after this section comes into force.

When return must be filed: in-house lobbyist

5(1)        The senior officer of an organization that has an in-house lobbyist must file a return with the registrar

(a) within two months after the date on which an individual in that organization becomes an in-house lobbyist; and

(b) within two months after the end of each six-month period after the date of filing the previous return.

Transitional

5(2)        If an organization has an in-house lobbyist when this Act comes into force, the senior officer of the organization must file a return within two months after this section comes into force, and after that in accordance with clause (1)(b).

CONTENT OF A RETURN

Content of return

6(1)        A return under this Act must be in a form acceptable to the registrar and must include the following information:

1.

The name and business address of the consultant lobbyist or senior officer required to file the return.

2.

If the return is filed by a consultant lobbyist,

(a) the name and business address of the firm, if any, where the consultant lobbyist is engaged in business;

(b) the name and business address of the client and of each person or organization that, to the consultant lobbyist's knowledge, controls or directs the client's activities and has a direct interest in the outcome of the consultant lobbyist's activities on the client's behalf;

(c) the date the consultant lobbyist entered into the undertaking; and

(d) the name of any government or government agency that funds or partly funds the client, and the amount of the funding.

3.

If the return is filed by the senior officer of an organization,

(a) the name and business address of the organization;

(b) a brief description of the organization's business or activities, and any other information required by the registrar to identify its business or activities;

(c) a general description of the membership of the organization, the name of each of its officers and, if the organization is a corporation, the name of each of its directors;

(d) if the organization is a corporation, the name and business address of each corporation controlled by it that, to the knowledge of the senior officer, has a direct interest in the outcome of the lobbying on the organization's behalf;

(e) if the organization is a corporation, the name and business address of each other corporation that controls it;

(f) the name of each in-house lobbyist in the organization; and

(g) the name of any government or government agency that funds or partly funds the organization and the amount of the funding.

4.

Particulars to identify the subject matter about which

(a) the consultant lobbyist named in the return has undertaken to lobby; or

(b) each in-house lobbyist named in the return has lobbied or expects to lobby during the relevant period.

5.

Particulars to identify any relevant legislative proposal, bill, resolution, regulation, program, policy, contract or financial benefit.

6.

A statement as to whether the consultant lobbyist or in-house lobbyist has lobbied or expects to lobby a member of the Legislative Assembly in his or her capacity as a member, or a person on the staff of a member of the Legislative Assembly.

7.

The name of any department of the government of Manitoba or any government agency in which a public official is employed or serves whom the consultant lobbyist or an in-house lobbyist has lobbied or expects to lobby during the relevant period, and the name of the public official or officials.

8.

Any other information prescribed in the regulations respecting the identity of the consultant lobbyist, a client, an in-house lobbyist, the employer of an in-house lobbyist or the senior officer of an organization, or a department or government agency referred to in item 7.

Other information

6(2)        A person who files a return must give the registrar the following information within the applicable period:

(a) particulars of any change to the information in the return, within 30 days after the change occurs;

(b) any information required to be supplied under subsection (1) but which the person did not know about until after the return was filed, within 30 days after the knowledge is acquired;

(c) any information requested by the registrar to clarify any information supplied by the person under this section, within 30 days after the request is made.

Completion of undertaking

6(3)        Within 30 days after an undertaking for which a return was filed is completed or terminated, the consultant lobbyist who filed the return must inform the registrar that the undertaking has been completed or terminated.

When in-house lobbyist ceases to act

6(4)        Within 30 days after an in-house lobbyist named in a return ceases to act as an in-house lobbyist or ceases to be an employee of the organization, the senior officer of the organization must inform the registrar of the event.

Form of return

6(5)        A return or other information required under this section must be supplied to the registrar in a form and manner acceptable to the registrar.

Definition

6(6)        In this section, "relevant period" means,

(a) for a return filed by a consultant lobbyist, the period beginning on the date of entering into the undertaking for which the return was filed and ending on the date the undertaking is completed or terminated; and

(b) for a return filed by the senior officer of an organization that has an in-house lobbyist, the financial year of the organization in which the return is filed or, if the organization does not have a financial year, the calendar year in which the return is filed.

CERTIFICATION

Certification of returns or documents

7           A person who files a return or other document with the registrar must certify that the information contained in it is true to the best of the person's knowledge and belief

(a) on the return or document itself; or

(b) if it is filed electronically or in another form under section 8, in the manner specified by the registrar.

DOCUMENTS AND EVIDENCE

Filing documents electronically or in other form

8(1)        Subject to the regulations, a return or other document that is required to be filed with the registrar under this Act may be filed electronically or in another form, in a manner specified by the registrar.

Time of receipt

8(2)        When a return or other document is filed electronically, it is deemed to be received by the registrar at the time determined in accordance with the regulations.

Use of documents as evidence

9           In a prosecution for an offence under this Act, a copy of a return or other document that is filed under this Act and certified by the registrar as a true copy

(a) is admissible in evidence without proof of the appointment or signature of the person appearing to have signed the copy; and

(b) has, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, the same evidentiary value as the original would have if it were proved in the ordinary way.

CERTAIN CONTRACTS PROHIBITED

No lobbying if person also paid for advice

10(1)       A person must not act as a consultant lobbyist or an in-house lobbyist on a subject matter if he or she holds a contract for providing paid advice on the same subject matter.

No contract if person also lobbying

10(2)       A person must not enter into a contract for providing paid advice on a subject matter if he or she acts as a consultant lobbyist or an in-house lobbyist on the same subject matter.

Interpretation

10(3)       In this section, "contract for providing paid advice" means an agreement or other arrangement under which a person directly or indirectly receives or is to receive payment for providing advice to the government or a government agency.

REGISTRY

Registrar

11(1)       The Lieutenant Governor in Council must appoint a registrar for the purpose of this Act.

Independence

11(2)       The person appointed as registrar must be one of the independent officers of the Assembly or the commissioner under The Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Conflict of Interest Act, or a person on the staff of one of them.

Appointment process

11(3)       If at any time the position of registrar

(a) will become vacant within six months because the term of office is scheduled to expire or the registrar has resigned; or

(b) has become vacant for any other reason;

an appointment must be made under this section within six months after that time.

S.M. 2015, c. 14, s. 6; S.M. 2017, c. 26, s. 38.

Registry

12(1)       The registrar must establish and maintain a registry of lobbyists in which a record of all returns and other documents filed with the registrar under this Act are to be kept.

Form of registry

12(2)        The registry is to be organized and kept in the form that the registrar determines.

Public access to registry

12(3)       The registry must be available for public inspection in the manner and at the times the registrar determines.

Internet access

12(4)       The registrar may make the registry available electronically, including through the Internet.

Registrar may verify information

13          The registrar may verify the information contained in a return or other document filed under this Act.

Registrar may refuse to accept a return

14(1)       The registrar may refuse to accept a return or other document that does not comply with this Act or the regulations, or that contains information not required to be supplied or disclosed.

Extending the time to file

14(2)       If the registrar refuses to accept a return or other document, the registrar must

(a) inform the person who filed it of the refusal and the reason; and

(b) allow a reasonable extension of the time set under this Act for filing the return or document, if it is not reasonable to expect the person to be able to file another return or document within the set time.

Deemed filing date

14(3)       When the registrar accepts another return or document within the extended time referred to in clause (2)(b), the return or document is deemed to have been filed on the day the registrar received the one that was refused.

Registrar may remove return

15(1)       The registrar may remove a return from the registry if the person who filed it

(a) does not comply with clause 6(2)(c) (duty to provide clarifying information); or

(b) fails to give the registrar any requested information relating to the return within the period specified by this Act.

Effect of removal

15(2)       If the registrar removes a return from the registry,

(a) the registrar must inform the person who filed the return of its removal and the reason; and

(b) the person is deemed, for the purpose of his or her obligations under this Act, not to have filed the return.

Delegation of registrar's powers and duties

16          The registrar may delegate any of his or her powers or duties under this Act to a person employed in the registrar's office.

Advisory opinions and interpretation bulletins

17          The registrar may issue advisory opinions and interpretation bulletins about the interpretation, application or enforcement of this Act or the regulations.

OFFENCES

Offence and penalty

18(1)       A person who contravenes a provision of this Act commits an offence.

False or misleading information

18(2)       A person who supplies false or misleading information in a return or other document filed with the registrar under this Act commits an offence.

If person had no knowledge

18(3)       A person does not commit an offence under subsection (2) if, at the time the information was supplied, the person did not know that it was false or misleading and, with the exercise of reasonable diligence, could not have known that it was false or misleading.

Fine

18(4)       A person who commits an offence under subsection (1) or (2) is liable to a fine of not more than $25,000.

Prosecution within two years

18(5)       A prosecution under this Act may be commenced not later than two years after the commission of the alleged offence.

REGULATIONS

Regulations

19          The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) for the purpose of subsection 1(2), respecting the determination of when an individual's lobbying activities or duty to lobby constitute a significant part of his or her activities;

(b) for the purpose of clause 3(1)(k), specifying persons or classes of persons to whom this Act does not apply;

(c) prescribing information for the purpose of item 8 of subsection 6(1);

(d) requiring fees to be paid when filing a return, or for any service performed or the use of any facility provided by the registrar, and prescribing the fees or the manner of determining them;

(e) respecting generally the establishment and operation of the registry;

(f) respecting the filing of returns and other documents with the registrar, including those that may be filed electronically or in another form under subsection 8(1), and the time at which they are deemed to be received by the registrar;

(g) respecting any other matter the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable for the purpose of this Act.

CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENT

20          

NOTE: This section contained a consequential amendment to The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act that is now included in that Act.

C.C.S.M. REFERENCE AND COMING INTO FORCE

C.C.S.M. reference

21          This Act may be referred to as chapter L178 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.

Coming into force

22          This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.

NOTE:  S.M. 2008, c. 43, Sch. A, came into force by proclamation on April 30, 2012.