Exemption Decisions

As of May 1, 2018, former public office holders must not lobby for a period of two years from the date they last held the position. 

Former public office holders may request an exemption from the Registrar of Lobbyists if the lobbying activity is considered to be in the public interest.

The Registrar evaluates each exemption application, and issues a binding decision. 

 

Year
Date Number Lobbyist Summary
Jun 20, 2024 ED 24-01 Jeff Groot (British Columbia Ferry Services Inc.) From late 2022 to late 2023, the applicant served as Assistant Deputy Minister, Government Digital Experience, in the Ministry of Citizens’ Services. Prior to this, the applicant was an executive lead in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. In November 2023, the applicant started working for British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. (BC Ferries) on a secondment from the provincial government as Executive Director of Communications. He became a full-time employee of BC Ferries on April 8, 2024. The applicant’s request to be exempted from the two-year prohibition on lobbying under s. 2.3 of the Lobbyists Transparency Act is granted. The prohibition’s purpose is to prevent individuals from marketing information and relationships gained at public expense for private advantage. The ultimate ownership of BC Ferries rests with the province, which means the applicant is moving from a government body to a government-owned body. To the extent BC Ferries might be said to gain advantage from the proposed lobbying activity, the public should be the ultimate beneficiary. In these circumstances, the Registrar found it in the public interest to grant the applicant an exemption from the two-year prohibition on lobbying.
May 10, 2023 ED 23-01 Nicolas Jimenez (British Columbia Ferry Services Inc.) Since late 2017, the applicant served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia and was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of British Columbia Ferry Services Inc (BC Ferries). The Registrar considered the preliminary question of whether the Lobbyists Transparency Act applied to BC Ferries such that it was required to report its lobbying of government. The Registrar determined that the Act did apply to the lobbying activities of BC Ferries. Cabinet had the power to exempt BC Ferries from these requirements but had chosen not to. The applicant’s request to be exempted from the two-year prohibition on lobbying under s. 2.3 of the Lobbyists Transparency Act is granted. The prohibition’s purpose is preventing individuals from marketing information and relationships gained at public expense for private advantage. While the structure of BC Ferries is complex, its ultimate ownership rests with the Province. This means the applicant is moving from one government-owned entity to another, distinguishing this matter from past cases where exemption seekers moved from governmental bodies to private organizations ranging from industry associations to non-profit charities. To the extent BC Ferries might be said to gain advantage from the proposed lobbying activity, the public should be the ultimate beneficiary. In these circumstances, the Registrar found it in the public interest to grant the applicant an exemption from the two-year prohibition on lobbying, though BC Ferries must continue to report all lobbying activity.
Dec 01, 2022 ED 22-01 Erin Seeley (YWCA Metro Vancouver) The applicant served as the former Senior Vice President of the BC Financial Services Authority for ten months and Chief Executive Officer of the Real Estate Council of British Columbia for five years. She is now the Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA Metro Vancouver. Her application for an exemption under s. 2.3 of the Lobbyists Transparency Act is granted with conditions that she not lobby any public office holders in the Ministry of Finance and certain senior public office holders she worked closely with, regardless of their current position. An organization’s status as a charity on its own is not determinative on whether granting an exemption under s. 2.3 is in the public interest. Not everything a charity or a non-profit does is necessarily in the public interest. The Registrar was satisfied the applicant intends to lobby on matters that do not concern the narrow organizational interests of the YWCA Metro Vancouver but on initiatives that a significant portion of the public stands to benefit from.
Sep 05, 2018 ED 18-06 Mark Blucher (Central 1 Credit Union) The applicant served as president and chief executive officer of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) for five years and senior vice president of insurance for the previous two years. On January 22, 2018, he became president and chief executive officer of Central 1 Credit Union (Central 1). The Registrar concluded it was not in the public interest to exempt the applicant from the two-year cooling-off period under s. 2.2 of the Lobbyists Registration Act (LRA).
Jul 31, 2018 ED 18-05 Brynn Bourke (BC Building Trades) The applicant is an in-house lobbyist with the BC Building Trades. She served for 6.5 weeks as a ministerial assistant in the office of one minister during the transition from the previous provincial government to the present administration. Her application for an exemption from the two-year lobbying prohibition that applies under section 2.2 of the LRA does not properly arise for decision. This is because she clearly does not fall within the plain and unambiguous language of the LRA’s definition of “former public office holder.” She is therefore not subject to the s. 2.2 cooling-off period in the first place. The Legislature may have intended to cover individuals in the applicant’s position, but enacted language that does not do so.
Jul 31, 2018 ED 18-04 Matthew Holme (Tourism Victoria) For almost a decade the applicant served as an executive assistant, ministerial assistant and chief of staff for several provincial government ministers. He was chief of staff to the former minister of tourism from December 2013 to July 2017. He is now an in-house lobbyist for Tourism Victoria, a notfor- profit organization. The applicant argued that, because of the 2017 change in government, he does not have relationships with ministers or their staff, thus addressing concern his being able to exploit relationships. He also argued that he does not possess information that could be used to lobby for Tourism Victoria. Given the length, seniority and recent nature of the applicant’s government experience, as a senior political staffer across several ministries, including tourism, it is not in the public interest to exempt him from the two-year cooling-off period under section 2.3.
Jul 31, 2018 ED 18-03 Martyn Lafrance The applicant served as chief of staff to two ministers. It is not in the public interest to exempt him from the two-year cooling-off period under s. 2.2 of the Lobbyists Registration Act. The nature and length of his work, and other factors, do not support his request.
Jul 31, 2018 ED 18-02 Alex Shiff (Navigator Ltd.) The applicant worked for 17 months as an executive assistant in a minister’s office. His application for an exemption from the two-year cooling-off period under s. 2.2 of the Lobbyists Registration Act is denied, as the requested exemption is not in the public interest. The legislative intention of s. 2.3 is to address the fact that a “former public office holder” may use recent information or relationships acquired in government to lobby after leaving government. The nature and length of the applicant’s tenure in government are relevant, and there are no other factors supporting the conclusion that it would be in the public interest to grant the exemption.
Jul 31, 2018 ED 18-01 Lindsay Kislock (Mining Association of British Columbia) The applicant, a former long-time assistant deputy minister in the provincial government, is subject to a two-year lobbying prohibition under section 2.2 of the Lobbyists Registration Act. Her application for an exemption under s. 2.3 is denied as it is not in the public interest. The authority to waive the exemption and impose conditions can only be exercised when it is in the public interest to do so. The legislative intention of s. 2.3 is to ensure that the narrow class of former public office holders, who, by definition, have worked at or very close to the heart of executive government, cannot use inside information or relationships to lobby immediately after leaving government. The authority to impose exemption conditions does not undercut the need for such an application to reach the public interest threshold. An exemption is not in the public interest in this case.