Attorney General David Eby. (Black Press)

B.C. moves to tighten lobbying rules

Ex-politicians can’t use ‘insider information’ for two years

Attorney General David Eby introduced legislation Monday that would prevent former politicians and senior staff from lobbying the B.C. government for two years after they leave government.

“Our legislation will increase transparency and eliminate the potential for undue influence or use of insider information by lobbyists,” Eby said. “Previously, individuals could go straight from a senior decision-making role in government to lobbying. This sweeping prohibition will ensure that knowledge is not used or sold for private gain after employment with the province ends.”

The legislation also requires lobbyists to register the names of staff or ministers or MLAs they lobbied. Penalties remain as they were, with the Registrar of Lobbyists able to impose administrative penalties up to $25,000, plus fines of $25,000 for a first offence and up to $100,000 for a subsequent conviction under the Lobbyists Registration Act.

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.