Influencing BC

This page contains issues of Influencing BC, an online newsletter published multiple times a year.

To keep up to date on new issues as they become available, bookmark this page or subscribe to our RSS feed.

Year
Date Title Number Summary
Jan 01, 2011 Influencing B.C. Winter 2011 Volume 1 Issue 1 I have a confession to make. I have been lobbied. As a former ―designated public office holder‖ under the federal system, I learned firsthand that lobbyists come in all shapes and sizes, contrary to inaccurate but enduring perceptions that lobbyists are shady backroom players. The fact is that we live amongst lobbyists.
May 01, 2011 Influencing B.C. Spring 2011 Volume 1 Issue 2 Over a year ago sweeping amendments to the BC Lobbyists Registration Act (―LRA‖) came into force. Since then, the number of registered lobbyists in BC has doubled. This law is all about transparency. It attempts to enhance public trust in government decision-making processes by making lobbying activities transparent. Declarations by lobbyists about their activities are placed in an easily accessible online registry. The LRA fulfills the public’s right to know who is attempting to influence government decisions by requiring lobbyists to publicly register, declare who they are lobbying, on whose behalf, on what subject matter and why.
Sep 01, 2011 Influencing B.C. Fall 2011 Volume 1 Issue 3 The ratio of available enforcement resources of the ORL to the registered lobbyist community is roughly 850 to 1. This gap underscores the importance of a multi-pronged compliance strategy and one that supports and promotes critical dialogue.
Jan 01, 2012 Influencing B.C. Winter 2012 Volume 2 Issue 1 Happy 2012! Welcome to our 1st anniversary issue of Influencing BC. 2011 was a very busy and productive year for the Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists, culminating in a December conference cohosted with Simon Fraser University’s Institute of Governance Studies (IGS).
May 01, 2012 Influencing B.C. Spring 2012 Volume 2 Issue 2 As forecasted in the May, 2011 edition of Influencing BC, I invite all readers to participate in a public consultation that my office is facilitating on the issue of whether a BC lobbyist code of conduct is warranted and, if so, what it should contain.
Sep 01, 2012 Influencing B.C. Fall 2012 Volume 2 Issue 3 It is an “old saw” among lobby regulators, and something of an understatement, that achieving compliance with lobby regulation is notoriously difficult.
Jan 01, 2013 Influencing B.C. Winter 2013 Volume 3 Issue 1 Happy 2013! It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone already. Last year was another busy year for the Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists.
Jul 01, 2013 Influencing B.C. Summer 2013 Volume 3 Issue 2 Since we published our last issue, in addition to our regular business, we’ve been busy moving our legislative reform project forward. I was appointed as the Registrar of Lobbyists for B.C. just after the 2010 amendments to the Lobbyists Registration Act (LRA) were passed. These last three years have been a time of learning for my office and for members of the B.C. lobbying community.
Oct 01, 2013 Influencing B.C. Fall 2013 Volume 3 Issue 3 Autumn is, for many, a time to reflect on the year that’s been and look forward to the coming year and its new opportunities. Looking back on 2013, our most significant accomplishment was a comprehensive proposal to amend the legislation regulating lobbying in B.C. After more than six months of consultations with lobbyists, public office holders and key stakeholders, I tabled a report in the Legislature recommending five critical amendments to the Lobbyists Registration Act (LRA).
Apr 01, 2014 Influencing B.C. Spring 2014 Volume 4 Issue 1 Transparency in lobbying is critical to a well-functioning democracy. As the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development noted in its 2009 report on lobbying, Lobbyists, Government and Public Trust, “Private interests seeking to influence government decisions, legislation or the award of contracts is part of the policy-making process in modern democracies. Lobbying can improve government decisions by providing valuable insights and data, but it can also lead to unfair advantages for vocal vested interests if the process is opaque and standards are lax.”
Oct 01, 2014 Influencing B.C. Fall 2014 Volume 4 Issue 2 In the Spring 2014 issue of Influencing B.C., I signalled my intention to step up enforcement activity to ensure lobbyists are complying with the Lobbyists Registration Act in the interests of transparency and accountability.
Apr 01, 2015 Influencing B.C. Spring 2015 Volume 5 Issue 1 Over the past few years we have seen an increased interest in establishing lobbyist registries at the local government level. In this issue our feature story presents the case for the establishment of municipal lobbyist registries in B.C. with the goal of promoting transparency at all levels of government. At this time, Surrey is the only municipality in B.C. to have a municipal lobbyist registry.
Oct 01, 2015 Influencing B.C. Fall 2015 Volume 5 Issue 2 In June I released the 2014-15 annual report for the Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists (ORL). In the report, we highlight our commitment to public education, which we are working to implement in the coming year. Stay tuned as we continue to make new learning opportunities available.
Apr 01, 2016 Influencing B.C. Spring 2016 Volume 6 Issue 1 In January the ORL partnered with SFU and the Public Affairs Association of Canada to host a conference in Vancouver that focused on the Future of Lobbying. I was very pleased to see such a great turnout.
Dec 21, 2016 Influencing B.C. Winter 2016 Volume 6 Issue 2 In June 2016, I was honoured to assume the role of Acting Registrar of Lobbyists. During the first few months of my appointment, I turned my attention to administrative matters. In September, we launched a newly designed website and in October, we introduced several improvements to the Lobbyists Registry. I hope that these enhancements will clarify the registration process for new lobbyists and make registration more transparent for returning registrants.
May 08, 2017 Influencing B.C. Spring 2017 Volume 7 Issue 1 The provincial election means the lobbying community will have new relationships to build, new meetings to plan, and new registrations to file. We have also been busy here at the Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists for BC. Morag Ross has capably assumed the reins of Registry Manager following the retirement of Carol Searle. If you have questions about your registration, don’t hesitate to contact Morag at (250) 387-2686.
Jan 10, 2018 Influencing B.C. Winter 2018 Volume 7 Issue 2 As the new year begins, change is in the air. Last November, the government passed an amendment to the Lobbyists Registration Act (LRA). This was one of five recommendations for change to the LRA that our office made in 2013. The amendment mandates a two-year “cooling off period” for former public office holders who wish to become lobbyists after leaving public service.
Apr 13, 2018 Influencing BC Spring 2018 Special Amendment Issue Volume 8, Issue 1 Inside these pages, we hope to answer your questions about what the amendment means for you as a lobbyist when it comes into force on May 1, 2018.
Nov 30, 2018 Influencing B.C. Fall 2018 Volume 8, Issue 2 The Government of British Columbia passed the Lobbyists Registration Amendment Act, 2017 last November. It went into effect on May 1, 2018, and addressed one of five recommendations for reforms to the LRA that our office made in 2013: establish a “cooling off” period for former public office holders.
Aug 15, 2019 Influencing BC Summer 2019 Special Amendment Issue Volume 9, Issue 1 I recently spoke at a “Lunch and Learn” event hosted by the Public Affairs Association of Canada – BC Chapter to update lobbyists on the impending changes to the Lobbyists Registration Act (LRA). I’d like to share this information with those of you who couldn’t attend the Vancouver event.
Nov 27, 2019 Influencing BC Winter 2019 Volume 9, Issue 2 On Monday, November 25, 2019, the BC government published the Lobbyists Transparency Regulation. The regulation accompanies the 2018 amendments to the Lobbyists Registration Act that address, in part, my office’s recommendations to increase transparency in lobbying.
Feb 07, 2020 Influencing BC, Feb. 2020 Vol 10, Issue 1 On May 4, 2020, the title of the Lobbyists Registration Act will change to the Lobbyists Transparency Act, or LTA, as the sections of the Lobbyists Registration Amendment Act, 2018, that have not yet come into force take effect. The changes will affect all lobbyists, and with the elimination of the 100- hour threshold we anticipate many organizations may have to register even if they have not had to do so in the past.
Apr 22, 2020 Influencing BC, April 2020 Vol 10, Issue 2 May 4, 2020, will mark the coming into force of the Lobbyists Transparency Act, or LTA, replacing the Lobbyists Registration Act. Besides the name change, the LTA will also bring into effect the remaining sections of the Lobbyists Registration Amendment Act, 2018. We continue our work to ensure the new online Lobbyists Registry will be ready to launch on May 4, 2020.
Oct 13, 2020 Influencing BC, October 2020 Vol 10, Issue 3 It certainly has been a very busy and challenging few months since I wrote my last message in April 2020. The Lobbyists Registration Amendment Act (2018) brought in a number of important amendments when the Lobbyists Transparency Act was enacted on May, 4, 2020. These changes usher in a new era of transparency in lobbying - a legitimate activity that helps inform government decisions. As many of you are aware, I extended the transition period for lobbyists registrations from June 15 to September 15 to help accommodate those who were adapting to our “new normal” under COVID-19. As that day has now come and gone, it is my expectation that all lobbyists who are engaged in lobbying activities should now be registered. I emphasize, however, that only active lobbyists need to register.
Jan 22, 2021 Influencing BC, January 2021 Vol 11, Issue 1 Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe it’s been eight months since the 2018 amendments to BC’s lobbying law came into force under the Lobbyists Transparency Act (LTA). I am pleased to report that lobbyists are gaining familiarity and comfort with the new legislation and registry. During this period my staff and I have continued to speak with stakeholders in the lobbying community. I want to underscore how much I appreciate our ongoing dialogue; it has helped us introduce improvements to the Registry and our guidance documents. In turn, it supports the goal of compliance of lobbyists with the LTA. The feature below outlines changes to the Registry and updates to our library of guidance documents.
May 25, 2021 Influencing BC, May 2021 Vol. 11, Issue 2 Just over a year ago, amendments to the Lobbyists Transparency Act (LTA) came into force and the new Lobbyists Registry went live. This important transition took place alongside the major changes we’ve all had to make in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis. It is to the credit of lobbyists, organizations and to the work of our Registry staff that the transition has been successful amid these challenging circumstances. I would like to take this opportunity to commend the lobbyist community for ensuring transparent, accountable lobbying in British Columbia. Thanks also for the feedback our office has received. It has been invaluable in helping us update the Registry to make it as user-friendly and efficient as possible.
Nov 22, 2021 Influencing BC, November 2021 Vol. 11, Issue 2 I had several occasions this fall to reflect on the impact of recent amendments to the Lobbyists Transparency Act (LTA) on lobbying in British Columbia. One such occasion was the virtual Lobbyists Registrars and Commissioners Network (LRCN) conference hosted by my office in September. This group of lobbyist regulators from across Canada meets twice a year to discuss common issues and share jurisdiction updates. The gatherings are extremely beneficial to our office and in our feature below, Transparency in Action, we share some of the details from our presentation to the meeting. Those focus on how the first year of the LTA has affected our operations. You can read more about the LRCN meeting in the Communiqué. We also tabled our Office’s Annual Report with the British Columbia Legislature on September 22, 2021. In it we reported on the first full year of our transition to the LTA. The Report discloses a growing awareness of the LTA, demonstrated by a significant increase in the volume of requests for information about the new legislation and the new Lobbyists Registry. In the 2020-21 fiscal year, the Office received 5,206 requests for assistance, an increase of 354% over the previous year. In addition, we published a total of 25 guidance documents and user guides in 2020-21. In this issue of Influencing BC, we also highlight our new guidance documents, what to do if your organization has a change in the most senior paid officer, and your frequently asked questions.