Find a Lobbyist from our directory...
SEARCH
Help

Thought Leadership

Guide to the Nova Scotia Registry of Lobbyists

Introduction

The Lobbyists’ Registration Act (LRA) of Nova Scotia, Canada, states that anyone who is paid to lobby public servants must be registered under the LRA. Under the LRA, ‘lobbying’ is defined as a means to communicate with a public servant and attempt to influence him / her. The act of influencing is done for various reasons. Here are a few examples:

·         For developing a legislative proposal

·         For introducing, passage, defeating or amending a bill or a resolution

·         For making or amending a regulation

·         For developing, amending or terminating a policy or program

·         For making a decision regarding privatization or outsourcing

·         For awarding of a grant, contribution, or other financial benefit by or on behalf of the government

·         For awarding of a contract by or on behalf of the government (consultant lobbyists only

·         For arranging a meeting between a public servant and another person (consultant lobbyists only).

 

Nova Scotia’s LRA’s Definition of a Public Servant

 

The LRA of Nova Scotia refers to a public servant as a public office holder. He / she can include any of the following:

·         An MLA, official or servant of the House of Assembly and their staff

·         Officers, directors and employees of Nova Scotia government departments

·         Agencies, boards and commissions

·         A person appointed by the Cabinet or a Minister to any office or body

·         An officer or employee of the government, or employee of an officer or Minister

However, the LRA excludes certain posts, for example:

·         Judges

·         Justices of the peace

·         Small Claims Court adjudicators;

·        Members of an administrative tribunal, such as the Labor Relations Board

Types of Lobbyists as Defined by the LRA

 

The LRA (Lobbying Registration Act) of Nova Scotia categorizes lobbyists as follows:

·         Consultant lobbyist

·         In-house lobbyist (company)

·         In-house lobbyist (organization)


 Consultant Lobbyist

The Lobbing Registration Act of Nova Scotia states that any individual paid to lobby on behalf of a client is consultant lobbyist. Consultant lobbyists can include lawyers, accountants and other professionals. A client is a person, partnership or organization that hires or retains a consultant lobbyist for an undertaking. The Act refers ‘person’ to a legal entity such as a corporation, as well as a person.

 

Undertaking

An undertaking is a contract between a consultant lobbyist and the client. An undertaking can be very broad. It may also require lobbying on several activities; on the other hand, it’s also possible that it may be narrowly focused on only one activity. For example, an undertaking could involve lobbying so that more government funding is allocated for highway maintenance. But it could also involve lobbying so that a new highway interchange is located in a specific place.

 

Registering as a Lobbyist

According to the Nova Scotia LRA, a consultant lobbyist must register within 10 days of beginning an undertaking for a client. Normally, this means that it would be within 10 days of signing a contract with a client. The lobbyist must re-register within 30 days of each six-month anniversary of the most recent registration.

 

Changes to Be Reported

Any new information or changes to the registration; this may include undertaking, have to be reported to the Registrar within 30 days of the change occurring or the lobbyist becoming aware of the change. But, in case there are major changes in agreements or contracts, then they are considered as new undertaking and hence require a new registration. For example, a new registration is necessary if there are changes to the terms or scope of an undertaking such as the subject of lobbying. However, minor changes such as the change in address of the consultant or client have to be updated but not newly registered.

 

Disclosures Done by Consultant Lobbyists

Consultant lobbyists are required to disclose some information for each undertaking. Here are a few examples:

·         Name, business address, phone number and, if applicable, business address and Registry of Joint Stock Companies number of their firm

·         Name of the business address of the client and his / her business’ name

·         The name and business address of the client and the name and business address of any person, partnership or organization that controls or directs the activities of the client or has a direct interest in the outcome of the undertaking

·         If the client is a corporation, the name and business address of each subsidiary of

 

Other Miscellaneous Disclosures       

The lobbyist has to disclose relevant information about his / her client if they are a corporation or a subsidiary including the details of the payment. Also, the source and the amount of government funding received by the client are to be disclosed. Plus, the name and business address of any non-government entity that provided $750 or more to the client to support the undertaking.

 

Introduction (In-House Lobbyists)

According to the Nova Scotia LRA, there are two types of In-House Lobbyists. They are: In-House Lobbyist (Organization) and In-House Lobbyist (Company)

 

In-House Lobbyist (Organization)

An In-House Lobbyist works for an organization such as a society or chamber of commerce. His lobbying activity is a significant part of his / her duties. Also, his / her lobbying activity amounts to a significant part of a staff member’s duties. ‘Significant Part of Duties’ means the average of 20 per cent of an employee’s time over a period of 3 months. This applies to individual employees and a collective of employees conducting lobbying activities for the organization.

For example, if you assume a five-day workweek, then over a three-month period an employee or group of employees would reach the 20 per cent threshold in 12 days of lobbying. Two employees working six days each would meet this requirement.

 

Disclosures Done by In-House Lobbyists (Organization)

Like consultant lobbyists, In-House lobbyists too have to make several disclosures. They are more or less the same. Here are a few examples:

·         They must disclose their name, business address and phone number, and the employer’s name, business address and, if applicable, Registry of Joint Stock Companies’ number

·         If the employer is a corporation then the employer’s name and business address

·         Subsidiary of the corporation that has a direct interest in the outcome of the In-House lobbyist’s activities on behalf of the employer;

·         If the employer is a subsidiary of a corporation, the name and business address of the parent corporation.

 

The Difference between In-House Lobbyists (Organization) and Company

There is not much of a difference between the two categories of In-House lobbyists but it is essential to distinguish between the two so that there is no confusion. An organization can be distinguished from a person, partnership or company because it is generally a non-profit or non-commercial operation. This is not a thumb rule but it is a useful starting point when it comes to distinguishing between an In-House lobbyist (organization) and an In-House lobbyist (company).