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
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