The Government of Alberta has introduced legislation to amend the Lobbyist Act and strengthen rules and regulations around lobbying activity.
The proposed changes are meant to address the significant amount of lobbying activity currently going unreported and in secret due to loose rules and loopholes.
If passed, the tabled amendments would:
- Restrict lobbyists from giving money, gifts or other benefits to public office holders that would place a public office holder in a conflict of interest.
- Require lobbying activity be reported regardless of who asked for the meeting or made the first call.
- Require individuals or groups who lobby government on behalf of their employer or business to register this activity after 50 hours of lobbying in a year, including preparation time.
- Prohibit contingency fee payment arrangements to ensure lobbying is done objectively.
- Include grassroots communication in the definition of lobbying to reflect modern lobbying practices.