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University Relations

Lobbying at Queen's

An overview of registration and reporting requirements for university employees.

Federal

Definition of lobbying:

  • Communicating with a public office holder, for payment, in respect of:
    • Development of any legislative proposal
    • Introduction, defeat, or amendment of any bill or resolution
    • Making or amendment of any regulation
    • Development or amendment of any policy or program
    • Awarding of any grant, contribution, or other financial benefit
    • Awarding of any contract (consultant lobbyists)
    • Arranging of a meeting with a public office holder (consultant lobbyists)

Types of lobbyists:

  • Consultant lobbyists work for firms that are active in government relations, law, or strategic advice or may be self-employed and active in the same fields.
  • In-house lobbyists communicate on behalf of the corporations or non-profit organizations that employ them.

Impact on Queen’s:

  • Queen’s is required by the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada to register and report all contacts with federal Designated Public Office Holders. All reports are made on behalf of the Principal, as required under the Lobbying Act.
  • All Deans and a number of other senior administrators are currently registered to lobby on behalf of Queen’s. Any employee who communicates with senior government officials should be registered by Government and Institutional Relations.
  • In general, all scheduled communications initiated by Queen’s (meetings/telephone calls) with Designated Public Office Holders must be reported. Communications initiated by a government official must be reported if financial benefits are discussed.
  • Communications in the normal course of business (standard information requests, routine transactions, etc.) are not reportable.
  • If communications are arranged by or conducted on behalf of a third party (COU, AUCC, U15, etc.), that organization is responsible for meeting the reporting obligations.
  • Communications must be reported to the Commissioner of Lobbying by the 15th day of the following month.

Who are the Designated Public Office Holders?

  • Any federal Minister, MP, or Senator
  • Any senior staff member in a Minister’s office, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Opposition Leader’s Office, or the Privy Council Office
  • Any senior bureaucrat down to the rank of assistant/associate deputy minister
  • Any executive from a federal agency down to the rank of vice-president (includes granting councils)
  • If in doubt, please report.

Provincial

The Integrity Commissioner of Ontario enforces the Lobbying Registration Act of 1998 in the province. In-house lobbyists at Ontario universities are not currently required to register or report activities. Queen’s will continue to monitor relevant legislation and modify our approach as required, with appropriate communication to all internal stakeholders.

Municipal

At present, no registration or reporting of lobbying activities is required in the City of Kingston.
If any lobbying is conducted within another municipality, please consult with Government and Institutional Relations to review any reporting obligations that may exist.

Reporting

The Government and Institutional Relations unit reports all lobbying activity on behalf of Queen’s by the 15th day of each month. As part of this process, staff reach out to senior administrative offices across campus to inquire about any communications that may require reporting.

Government and Institutional Relations would request that any portfolio that engages in lobbying activities designate a staff contact to assist with this monthly reporting. The ideal person will have sufficient knowledge of the calendars of the individuals involved, as well as a broad perspective on activities in the portfolio, to provide a comprehensive report.

Designated staff members are invited to identify themselves to the staff of Government and Institutional Relations.