At the time of writing, roughly 7,212 individuals are actively registered to lobby in Canada. Last year, the most frequently lobbied government institutions were the House of Commons, the Prime Minister’s Office, and Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada.

But how does lobbying work in Canada?

For those who are unfamiliar, treat this blog as a primer to federal lobbying.

The political use of the term began in the 1810s when it first entered widespread use in the press. In 1818, a writer defined a lobby member as someone “employed to advocate by extraneous influence” for petitions before the legislature. The term eventually grew to include lobbying, lobbyism, and lobbyist.

Lobbying typically includes communications efforts with public officeholders to make legislative changes, secure government funding, or create working relationships with the government of the day.

The Lobbying Act of Canada was created with the understanding that free and open access to government and the ability to voice concerns regarding the legislature are valuable to the public interest.

On the flip side, the Act also recognizes that transparency about such communications is paramount, and that’s why individuals in Canada who participate in paid lobbying work are required to register with the Lobbyists Registration System.

In Canada, the most frequently lobbied public servants are either Members of Parliament or Deputy Ministers, each subject to lobbying communications in 2022-2023, 11,511 and 5,960 times, respectively. The most common topics discussed were economic development, industry, environment, health and finance.

When it comes to lobbying, the definition of success can vary drastically on a case-by-case basis. Ultimately, the intention is to inform relevant public officeholders of how they can help solve issues impacting your business, industry, or way of life.

If you are interested in such work but are unsure of where to start, the team at Daisy are seasoned government relations experts who will be able to assist you. Reach out for a free consultation to learn more.