MA­TRIX

No mat­ter who's in power in Vic­to­ria, B.C. lob­by­ists will keep try­ing to pull the levers of gov­ern­ment. They also drew un­wanted at­ten­tion af­ter a re­cent Globe and Mail in­ves­ti­ga­tion found that some were mak­ing po­lit­i­cal do­na­tions un­der their own names and

BC Business Magazine - - Contents -

When will the prov­ince make it just a lit­tle tougher for lob­by­ists to do their job?

LOB­BY­ISTS GO STRAIGHT TO THE TOP

The lat­est an­nual num­bers show that more than half of their ef­forts ze­roed in on min­is­ters and MLAS.

HERE IN B.C., THEY COME IN TWO FLAVOURS

The pro­vin­cial Lob­by­ists Reg­is­tra­tion Act rec­og­nizes con­sul­tant lob­by­ists (those who work for clients) and in­house lob­by­ists (those rep­re­sent­ing an or­ga­ni­za­tion).

DAVID SUZUKI IS A LOB­BY­IST?

The lead­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist's epony­mous foun­da­tion has pressed elected of­fi­cials on ev­ery­thing from tran­sitnsit fund-fund­ing to cli­mate changege ac­tion­ac­tion.

RE­MEM­BER, KIDS: LOB­BY­ING CAN LEAD TO POL­I­TICS…

Take Gabe Garfinkel, prin­ci­pal of Van­cou­ver­based Garfinkel & Part­ners Strate­gies, who at press time was the B.C. Lib­eral can­di­date for Van­cou­ver-fairview in the May pro­vin­cial elec­tion. Since 2014, Garfinkel's clients have in­cluded Chevron Canada Ltd., First West Credit Union and U.S. gi­ant Ver­tex Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals Inc.

6. …AND VICE VERSA. RINSE AND RE­PEAT

Re­mem­ber Kim Haak­stad? Now a con­sul­tant lob­by­ist with Van­cou­ver's Wazuku Ad­vi­sory Group, Haak­stad re­signed as Christy Clark's deputy chief of staff in 2013 af­ter be­ing im­pli­cated in a dorky plan to court eth­nic vot­ers.

BENT OR BROKE LOB­BY­ING RULES? DON'T SWEAT IT TOO MUCH

Of 178 new and out­stand­ing com­pli­ance re­views by the Of­fice of the Reg­is­trar of Lob­by­ists for the 2014-15 fis­cal year, just 16 led to for­mal in­ves­ti­ga­tions; the rest were re­solved in­for­mally. In 2014, then–reg­is­trar of lob­by­ists El­iz­a­beth Den­ham up­held a $1,200 fine against ex–b.c. Lib­eral MLA Bill Belsey for con­tra­ven­ing two sec­tions of the klob­by­ists Reg­is­tra­tion Act. For a first of­fence, the top fine un­der the Act is $25,000.

OVER TO YOU, PRE­MIER

In late 2013, Den­ham pub­lished a re­port con­tain­ing sev­eral rec­om­men­da­tions for amend­ing the Lob­by­ists Reg­is­tra­tion Act. Among them: re­quir­ing des­ig­nated fil­ers to “in­clude the name of any per­son or or­ga­ni­za­tion, other than the client or em­ployer, who con­trols, di­rects or is a ma­jor fund­ing source for lob­by­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.”

by Nick Rockel

LOB­BY­ING TAR­GETS, 2015-16

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