Originally published on April 19, 2021
Over the past year, many Canadian businesses have taken advantage of government assistance programs such as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy. Although many of these financial aids were offered without special conditions vis à vis With the government writing the cheque, non-refundable COVID-19 emergency funding is not unconditional if you are (or will soon be) registered as an in-house lobbyist or consultant. All lobbyists must comply with government funding disclosure obligations under Canadian lobbying laws.
In Canada, reporting government funding is a key aspect of lobbying compliance that ensures an open and transparent system. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, widely used new government programs are being used by companies that have never received government funding before. As such, it is more important than ever that those engaging in lobbying activities understand the disclosure requirements for government funding.
Generally, disclosure of government funding is required when filing a lobbying registration for in-house lobbyists (corporations, organizations) and consultant lobbyists. For lobbyists who are already registered, registrations must be updated to reflect new sources of funding (and in some jurisdictions, requests for funding). This means that the senior manager of an in-house lobbyist must report whether his Business Where organization has received (or applied for) government funding, and notably, this also means that consultant lobbyists must report whether their customer has received (or applied for) government funding.
The timeline for updating an existing record is determined by law and differs by jurisdiction. For example, at the federal level, the obligation to declare government funding occurs no later than 15 days after the end of each month. In Alberta, changes to registration information must be updated within 30 days and Alberta requires lobbyists to report both government funding received and government funding. requested but not received (BC also requires reporting of funding requested or received, but has a reporting deadline similar to federal law). In Ontario, new registration information must also be updated within 30 days, but in the context of government funding, Ontario’s Integrity Commissioner has indicated in an interpretation bulletin that this means that amounts must be updated 30 days after the end of the government’s fiscal year. However, nothing prevents entities from declaring earlier.
Public funding typically includes, but is not limited to:
- Transfer payments
- Employer wage subsidies
- A forgivable loan or part of a loan that is forgiven
- Other non-repayable contributions
Public funding generally does not include:
- Repayable contributions
- Repayable tranches of loans or any loan guarantees
- Tax credits, refunds, exemptions, discounts and tax rebates
- Payment for contracts for goods or services
- Payments directly to employees
When reporting government funding, filers should generally include the name of the government entity providing the funding, the amount of funding received from the entity, and, in certain circumstances, confirmation that the funding is planned or has been received. during the previous or current fiscal year. Across Canada, federal, provincial and territorial lobbying laws are similar, but unique. As shown in the table below, the specific requirements differ depending on where the lobbying takes place.
If you have questions about reporting requirements or rules that may apply to your business or client, McMillan LLP is here to help you navigate the complex world of lobbying compliance. For more information, please contact Timothy Cullen.
Nationwide Government Funding Disclosure Requirements
|Jurisdiction||Registration Disclosure Obligation||Update requirement|
|Canada||Funding received or expected from any government or government agency||Within 15 days of the following month|
|British Columbia||The name of any government, government agency or provincial entity that has funded or received a funding request, in whole or in part, from the client or organization in the previous 12 months, and the amount of that funding||Within 15 days of the following month|
|alberta||Funding from the government, a government agency or a prescribed provincial entity received or requested in the last 12 months||Within 30 days following a modification of the information of a declaration|
|Saskatchewan||The name of any government or government institution that funds or partially funds the client or organization and the amount of funding||Within 30 days following a modification of the information of a declaration|
|Manitoba||The name of any government or government agency funding or partially funding the customer and the amount of funding||Within 30 days following a modification of the information of a declaration|
|Ontario||The name of the government or government agency and the amount of funding received in the fiscal year from that government preceding the filing of the return||Within 30 days of the end of the government’s fiscal year|
|Quebec||The name of any government, municipality or municipal agency or body that is funding or partially funding the customer and the amount of funding||Within 30 days following a modification of the information of a declaration|
|New Brunswick||The name of any government or government agency funding or partially funding the customer and the amount of funding||Within 30 days following a modification of the information of a declaration|
|New Scotland||The name of the government or government agency and the amount of funding received||Within 30 days following a modification of the information of a declaration|
|Prince Edward Island||The name of the government or government agency and the amount of funding received||Within 30 days following a modification of the information of a declaration|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||The source and amount of any funding received by the client or organization from the government or the City of St. John’s||Within 30 days of the expiration of each 6-month period following the filing date of the previous in-house lobbyist return; within 30 days of any change to an existing statement for consultant lobbyists|
|yukon||Grants from the Government of Yukon during the one-year period preceding a registration specifically related to a matter that has been or will be undertaken||Within 30 days of a change in the information contained in an in-house lobbyist return; No later than 30 days after the end of each six-month period that begins when the most recent return was submitted for consultant lobbyists|
The above provides an overview only and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned not to make any decisions based solely on this material. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained.
© McMillan LLP 2021