The top lobby groups in Ottawa

Which groups are lobbying the federal government’s powerful departments the most? We take stock.



The top lobby groups in Ottawa

  1. Is it only me who finds it both illuminating and disturbing that not a single environmental group made the top ten among groups lobbying our environmental agencies?

    • You know that in Canada the prime minister has limited the amount of money that non profit groups can use for political means by consequence of losing their non profit status.

      • Unless the lobbying is being done by bribery, I find this terribly irrelevant.

        • It’s relevant because clearly there are big for-profit businesses who gain from exploiting the environment (where fixes are borne by taxpayers, not the businesses), but there generally are not big for-profit businesses who gain from protecting the environment, and likely cannot every be (due to nature of economics and physics of entropy). Hence most environmental lobbying is by non-profits, which are hobbled by this requirement whereas for-profits are not. It essentially ensures the playing field is heavily tilted to those who exploit the environment at taxpayers’ net cost.

      • There has always been a limit on the percentage of “political spending” that non-profit groups have had to follow. This limit was in place before the Conservatives were elected. What’s new over the last couple of years is that the government is now seriously enforcing this limit and auditing groups for compliance. I think the limit is 10% of raised cash. The group I work with doesn’t engage in any political lobbying so I’m not certain of the exact limit.

        • It isn’t non profit groups. It’s groups that claim charitable status. They got to hand out tax deductions for donations. A lot of them have now been kicked off the charitable band wagon.

          • Yes you are correct. We give charitable receipts to our donors and have for many years and these restrictions on political activity have been in place for years before the current government was elected. Some groups have kicked themselves off of the charitable band wagon so that they may spend without restriction on political activities. Others have been kicked off for not following the spending regulations.

            I don’t know if this is a good thing or what the boundary should be between charity and lobbying.

          • In fact, not one environmental group was “kicked off the charitable bandwagon” in the audits commissioned by the federal government at a cost of $8 million tax dollars. One organization lost its status and it campaigned on nuclear issues from a human health perspective.

          • Kairos for one.

        • Can hardly wait until they take out the Fraser Institute then.

          • You don’t get a taxable receipt if you donate to them, I believe.

          • Seems that you do, unless I’m reading this page incorrectly.

          • No. No. No.

          • Please expand…I was actually sort of surprised, but there it is, in black and white.

            What are the details?

          • Oh, you mean “No, no, no I can’t believe it”. Yeah, weird, it is hard to understand.

          • Indeed you do!

      • So why don’t they do the same for corporations?

    • Harper, Oliver and the rest of the muppets spend all their time complaining about environmentalists and others funded by overseas sponsors. But I wonder how many of the above attempts are funded using cash that came from outwith Canada? Or how many of the above represent foreign or globalised interests who just have a token presence in Canada?

      • The issue wasn’t where the money was coming from. The issue was the money being used for political purposes while these environmental groups were claiming charitable status.

        • So I wonder (because I really don’t know the answer) whether membership in, say, CAPP is deductible as a business expense…

        • That would be like the Fraser Institute and Koch money, Evangelical churches and money form the states… yeah okay.

    • They don’t need to lobby. They just throw up pickets and call in a flash mob anytime they want a project shut down. It’s much cheaper than lobbying.

    • Environmental groups don’t need to lobby as they have the ears of

      voters. You employ lobbyists when the democratic process fails you.

  2. Lobby groups are an open wound exposing the body politic to corruption. MP’s and parties employ researchers and they should do their jobs … collect facts, make decisions.

  3. Il am wondering how much tax avoidance these companies manage because they can claim the cost of the lobbying firms. That would be an interesting number. to have revealed. I am sure any tax credit claims are more than likely indirect and buried. But you know tax lawyers will find a way. Is their a tax lawyer out there who would care to illuminate. Anonymously of course.

  4. In my opinion any lobbying by undemocratic bodies with lots of $$ is fundamentally corrupt unless those harmed by and/or opposing lobbyists’ interests also have equal access to power. The only democratic institution in this list is the FCM.

  5. I would light some essence if I was around all those lobbyists.
    Not surprising these groups would be in war trench mode (desperate measures), except of course Google.
    Why does Google need to lobby when everyone likes those guys?

  6. Oil, insurance, industry, hydro and banks. Big surprise, NOT!
    All the a-holes that are bleeding us dry. And they have the ear of our government.

  7. Where are the unions in all of this. The Cons have been adamant in complaining about union interference in the works yet none show up in these lists. Could it be that we are being conned! Oh No!!!!

  8. What bothers me is that taxpayers are on the hook for the time given to these agencies. I think there should be a cap on the amount of time they can meet up.

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