FREDERICTON (GNB) – Provincial lobbyists are reminded that, since the Lobbyist Registration Act took effect April 1, they must register by July 1.  

“New Brunswickers have been asking for more rigour around lobbyists’ activities for many years,” said Government House Leader Rick Doucet. “Your government is pleased to be able to introduce these new regulations, as we are committed to fostering a culture of openness and transparency in our public sector.”

Lobbying is an important part of the democratic process. The purpose of the act is to ensure transparency and accountability in the lobbying of public office-holders in order to increase confidence in the integrity of the government decision-making process.

As of April 1, lobbyists are required to register in New Brunswick. Failure to register or renew a registration, failure to provide accurate and complete information, or making false and misleading statements are considered offences and will result in monetary penalties under the act.

All current lobbyists in the province have until July 1 to register. Individuals spending, or intending to spend, 20 per cent or more of their time in a three-month period undertaking lobbying activities will need to register. If a current lobbyist intends to cease lobbying activity, they would not need to register. Following the initial registration period, any new lobbyist would be required to register before undertaking lobbying activities in the province. Registered lobbyists must renew their registrations every six months.

The lobbyist registry will be available for public viewing as of July 1.

“The regulations outlined in the Lobbyist Registration Act will allow the public to know who is attempting to influence government, and for what purpose,” said Doucet. “This new act will make the provincial government accountable, now and in the future.”

The proclamation of the act fulfills a commitment made by the government that a public lobbyist registry would be in place before the end of 2018.

In developing the act, the government defined the regulations for what constitutes a significant part of lobbying activities to ensure it is clear who must register as a lobbyist and who is exempt. The framework builds on best practices from across Canada and was used to create the lobbyists registration system.