Former school trustee Michael McEvoy serves as B.C.’s Registrar of Lobbyists and Information and Privacy Commissioner. (Youtube)

B.C. government lobbying rules to be tightened

Stricter reporting of meetings, gifts among David Eby’s changes

The latest report of the B.C. Lobbyist Registrar records meetings with provincial officials and lobbyists for the steel industry, the salmon farming industry, GE Healthcare’s diagnostic scanners, the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council and Chevron Canada, which wanted to discuss B.C.’s climate change and low-carbon fuel policies.

That regular reporting is being tightened up with new legislation presented this week by Attorney General David Eby.

Changes being proposed include introducing monthly reporting of actual lobbying activity, new rules covering giving gifts to provincial officials and reporting of election contributions to politicians being lobbied, Eby said. Penalties are also being expanded to include a ban on lobbying for up to two years.

RELATED: B.C.’s two-year lobbying ban takes effect

Registrar of Lobbyists Michael McEvoy administers reporting and decides on penalties. One of the changes is to fix a loophole McEvoy discovered that prevents a “former public office holder” or “former staff member” from lobbying for two years. Former staff members of current public office holders weren’t covered by the two-year cooling-off period, and at least one escaped a fine.

In his latest annual report, McEvoy noted that compliance reviews were up in 2017-18, but most appeared to be accidental errors and oversights that were resolved informally by lobbyists re-filing reports to the registrar.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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