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BC government tables legislation to tighten lobbying rules

BC government tables legislation to tighten lobbying rules”

The Province is updating legislation to make sure individuals who worked for the government can not sell their insider-knowledge.

The B.C. NDP minority government today introduced lobbying reform, the first B.C. Green initiative to be introduced as legislation following the May 9 election.

Eby says the legislation, if it passes, will eliminate the potential for undue influence or use of insider information by lobbyists.

The new rules would also mandate lobbyists to disclose the names of any staff, ministers or MLAs they speak to.

The restrictions would apply to former politicians, political staff, deputy and assistant deputy ministers, and senior positions at universities, school boards, health authority boards, hospitals, natural resource and economic development agencies, the Workers Compensation Board and several Crown corporations and agencies.

"We felt it was particularly urgent in terms of public confidence to address what many saw as a revolving door between senior government roles and the lobbying industry in British Columbia", said Chris Eby, B.C.'s attorney general.

Those include administrative penalties of up to $25,000 for non-compliance, and penalties from $25,000 to $100,000 for people who are convicted of an offence.

The new rules, which would be applied through amendments to the Lobbyist Registration Act, will maintain existing fines and penalties.

Eby said the new rules would come into effect about two months after the legislation is passed, in order to give the registrar time to update their registry and develop a policy guide for granting those exemptions.



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