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Media Release

COALITION CALLS FOR STRONGER LOBBYING LAW, DEMOCRACY WATCH NOT REGISTERING AS LOBBYIST

Wednesday, May 7, 2003

OTTAWA - Today, at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament (at 12 noon, Room 356S Centre Block), the Government Ethics Coalition presented its proposals for strengthening Bill C-15 which amends the federal Lobbyists Registration Act.

"The federal Liberals proposed lobbying law changes are not enough to end secret lobbying or  unethical ties between lobbyists and politicians," said Duff Conacher, Coordinator of Democracy Watch and Chairperson of the Government Ethics Coalition.

 The key loopholes still remaining in Bill C-15 need to be closed through the following measures:

"The Liberals proposed half measures show clearly that they see nothing wrong with the federal government being driven behind closed doors by wealthy corporations and their high-powered lobbyists," said Conacher.

 Democracy Watch will also be withdrawing from the lobbying registry because, given the gaps in Bill C-15 and the LRA, it has determined it is not required (as many others are not) to register as a lobbyist.situations.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Duff Conacher, Coordinator of Democracy Watch
Chairperson of the Government Ethics Coalition
Tel: (613) 241-5179
dwatch@web.net
Democracy Watch's Government Ethics Campaign

Democracy Watch Homepage



Government Ethics Coalition

List of Recommended Changes to
Bill C-15, An Act to Amend the Lobbyists Registration Act
(May 7, 2003)

Bill C-15 does propose to close some loopholes in the lobbyist regulatory system under the federal Lobbyists Registration Act (LRA), specifically: 1. lobbyists who are invited to lobby government will now be required to register; 2. the registration requirements for in-house corporate lobbyists will require more detailed listings of employees who are lobbying, and; 3. because of an amendment made by the House of Commons, lobbyists for a corporation or organization who been a public servant, politician or other public office holder will now have to disclose the past offices they held.

However, key loopholes still remain in Bill C-15 that allow many lobbyists to escape registration, hide key details about the extent and nature of lobbying activities, allow lobbyists to have inside access and undue influence, and weaken enforcement of the LRA and the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct.  These loopholes must be closed through the following measures: