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Lobbying in Canada and the United States

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Purchla Martyna

on 23 August 2014

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Transcript of Lobbying in Canada and the United States

Lobbying in Canada and the United States
What is Lobbying ?
"An effort to influence government decision particularly through direct personal communication with key decision makers"
-Mintz et al., p. 232
Types of Lobbying
Problematic Aspects of Lobbying
- Lack of Transparency
-Loopholes in Legislation
-Difficult to Enforce
- Bias Towards Powerful and Wealthy Organizations
- Conflicts of Interest
1. Lobbying in the U.S.A
2. Lobbying in Canada
3. Lobbying in action: The Enbridge Northern Gateway
4. Implications
Lobbying in the United States
Lobbying in the Unites States occurs when special interest groups hire and pay professional advocated to campaign for specific legislation, particularly to decision making bodies, such as Congress
Lobbying in the United States
Lobbying in the United States is considered essential as a component of freedom of speech that it has special protection in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which states:
" Congress shall make no law... abridging.... the right of the people peacefully .... to petition the Government for a redress of grievances "
Regulations in the United States
- Extensive regulations
- Lobbyists must be registered
- Quarterly reports must be filed
- Required to report exactly how much money is spent on various types of lobbying: ads, campaigns, contributions, etc.
- Must report all income per client
Loopholes in the United State's Legislature
- Lobbyists are barred from buying gifts/ meals for legislators but not firms and organization representing by them
- Lobbyists whose activity is less than 20% of working hours do not need to register
- Businesses can lobby in coalitions to conceal their identities
Lobbying in Canada
1. Free and Open Access
2. Legitimate Activity
3. Office holders and public have access to lobbying activities
4. Registration should not impede free and open access to government.
Rules to be Followed By Lobbyists
- Transparency
- Confidentiality
- Conflicting Interests
Rules to be Followed by Public Office
Following designation the public office holder is prohibited from carrying out lobbying activities for a period of five years
In order to Consult...
Register as a Lobbyist

Fill out a communications report
Policies Impeding Lobbying Among Interest Groups
Tax laws that limit interest groups to raise funds

Cannot spend more than 10% of its resources of political advocacy
The Enbridge Northern
Gateway Pipeline

How Enbridge Lobbied the Federal Government
There were 12 lobbyists and 10 Consulting Firms at work for the Pipeline from 2011-2012

Dozens meetings with ministers, deputy ministers, policy directors, the privy council and members of parliament

How Enbridge Lobbied the Public
How Did the Federal Government Respond?
Tabled the omnibus legislation that changed the environmental laws and review process that govern the project

Harper makes public announcement that Pipeline is safe and will create jobs therefore dismissing contrary evidence.

Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, criticized environmentalist groups
What Happened to the Rest of the Interest Groups?
Enbridge and Interest Groups in The United States
Forest Ethics launched a website to bring attention to the issue and has begun a cross-border campaign to oppose the pipeline
Lobbying in the US
Implications
Consultant
In House
Grassroots

Agenda
Four Principles
Public officials working as lobbyists?
Oil sands opponents have turned their sights the pipeline project in B.C.
8 people in Michigan were arrested for protesting Enbridge’s Ontario pipeline project
- Lobbyists not paid for their lobbying

- Lobbying less than 20% of the worktime

- Secret email, texts and phone calls are initiated by ministers or officials



In addition to this, it is not required to disclose all money spent on lobbying campaigns.
Loopholes
A pipeline spreading from Alberta’s Tar Sands to a marine terminal in Kitimat, BC for export of crude oil to China.

The BC Government opposed the proposal for the Northern Gateway Project due to Environmental
Regulation


- It was difficult for most environmental groups to meet with higher level officials
- Some groups tried to get meetings with government officials but have failed

- Lobbying is expensive and a time consuming activity

In the US Enbridge spent more than 3 million dollars lobbying the US congress

In the Washington Post it was reported that 3 out of 4 lobbyists for oil and gas companies were are one point federal employees

CBC News, August 2012
Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying in Canada
Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying in Canada
Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying in Canada
Democracy Watch, May 2012
Mintz et al, 2014
CBC 2012
The Huff Post, 2012
CBC News, August 2012
Full transcript