Bill C-69 remains before the Senate. (Photo: CC, Gina Dittmer via Public Domain Pictures.)
A new consultant has registered to lobby federally on behalf of a coalition of 18 municipalities in Central and Northern Alberta critical of government legislation overhauling the assessment process for resource projects.
Christian von Donat of Impact Public Affairs registered last week for the Coalition of Canadian Municipalities for Energy Action to lobby senators about Bill C-69, controversial environmental assessment revamp legislation that remains before the Senate.
In a statement earlier this spring, the group detailed their concerns with the legislation, which would create a new body to handle assessment for projects like pipelines and nuclear developments.
Specifically, it wants to ensure municipalities have a voice during the assessment process, greater clarity on the requirements for consultation and financial and administrative burdens, and an exemption for municipal projects, among other changes. Members of the coalition include the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (which includes the community of Fort McMurray), the City of Cold Lake, the City of Whitecourt and the Town of Drayton Valley.
Earlier this month, members of the Senate environment committee approved 187 amendments, including reducing cabinet power to intervene in the energy assessment process. Many of the proposals are word-for-word what oil and gas groups have proposed. The amendments would also make it more difficult for individuals to initiate court challenges to decisions on projects and alter the way climate change impacts are considered in the regulatory process.
Earlier in the spring, the federal government released draft regulations for the new federal impact assessment regime to be established by Bill C-69, including proposed rules on the sets of projects that may be subject to a federal impact assessment, known alternatively as a project list.
The sorts of developments that would fall on the project list under the draft guidelines include oilsands mines and major nuclear and hydro projects. The government also submitted proposed rules on information requirements for the project planning phase and on the criteria for which legislated timelines could be suspended.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is seeking public comment on the draft rules and guidelines until the end of May.
Last week’s updates
There were 60 new registrations filed with the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying last week. Ten organizations saw a pair of lobbyists register on their behalf, while another saw three consultants register on their behalf.
Collectively, 38 different lobbyists filed registrations last week, led by Robert Manseau of Commerce Management with six, Edelman’s Christopher Vivone with five and Julia Fottinger with four. Madgalane Vanasse-Corbeil of L’Orange bleue had three. By lobby company, Edelman won the week with 10 new registrations followed by Capital Hill Group with eight, and both L’Orange bleue affaires publique inc and Commerce Management Group with six. Capital Hill Group gets an honourable mention for the number of variant spellings of the company name in last week’s filings with five.
In recent agriculture registrations:
Norman Dreger and Davie Quist of Osborne Group Contract Executives Corp. have registered for the Western Canada Wheat Growers Association to get specific agricultural products and services, seeds, fertilizer, equipment maintenance, exempted from the carbon tax.
Magdalane Vanasse-Corbeil and Robby Desjardins of L’Orange bleue affaires publiques Inc. have registered for the Producteurs des grains du Quebec to lobby for government support to offset American support for its agricultural sector.
In recent copyright registrations:
Lucas Veiga of The Capital Hill Group has registered for Access Copyright to get funding from the Canada Book Fund and about changes to copyright as it relates to the internet.
In recent energy/environment/climate change registrations:
Robert Manseau of Commerce Management has registered for BioPower Sustainable Energy Corp. to lobby Environment and Climate Change Canada to help with the company’s forestry plan and processing licence.
Bryon Wilfert of Tactix Government Relations and Public Affairs has registered for Terrestrial Energy Inc. to promote and find funding for molten salt reactor technology. Wilfert was a Liberal MP from 1997-2011.
In recent transportation registrations:
More lobbyists have registered on behalf of Onex Corp. as part of its bid to score federal regulatory approval to buy WestJet. Hugh McFadyen and Bruce Drysdale of Longview Communications have registered on the company’s behalf last week.
Michael von Herff of Public Affairs Advisors registered for Air Canada to lobby about customer loyalty programs.
Magdalane Vanasse-Corbeil and Robby Desjardins of L’Orange bleue affaires publiques Inc. have registered for E-Taxi registered to lobby for support to the electrification of the taxi industry.
David Angus of The Capital Hill Group registered for an Israeli company called Zerto Inc. to lobby a number of departments on behalf of its’ “award-winning disaster recovery and business continuity” products.
Huawei Canada continues to sign lobbyists to promote the positive aspects of the company and its technology, despite the dispute between Canada and China and growing concern around the world about the security of its 5G network. This week, Jennifer Babcock of Crestview has registered on behalf of the firm.
Mike Martin has registered for the Union of Veterans Affairs Employees to lobby Veterans Affairs about “Policies or Programs that cover the provision of services related to current and future veterans covered Veterans Affairs”. Martin did not list a lobby company in his registration.
Casket Hardware Manufacturers Ltd., makers of decorative and functional hardware for burial caskets since 1966, is seeking some funding to modernize its equipment and Pierre Latraverse of GDF Conseil Inc. has registered to lobby on its behalf.
Three consultants from Edleman have registered to lobby for Blue J Legal Inc, to promote “AI and machine learning (that) can predict court outcomes related to tax, labour and HR.”. Blue J Legal received $200,000 in funding from the National Research Council last year.
Robert Manseau of Commerce Management had six registrations on behalf of various First Nations and businesses in Northern Ontario. Many files have the same end goal — funding from Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF) and Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.
There were 425 communications reports filed last week.
Most active client organizations, based on last week’s filings:
- National Cattle Feeders Association, by in-house staff, 32
- Canadian Dental Association by lobbyist and in-house staff, 19
- Association québécoise de la production médiatique (AQPM) by in-house staff, 9
- Emera incorporation by paid lobbyist, 9
- Sun life Financial, by in-house staff, 9
- SWITCH, the Alliance for a Green Economy, by in-house staff, 7
Most active paid lobbyists:
- Kirk Cox for one client, 9
- James Igneski for two clients, 6
- Jason Ennis for one client, 4
- Isabel Metcalfe for one client, 4
Most lobbied public office holders:
- Harold Albrecht, Conservative MP from Ontario, 4
- Don Davies, NDP MP from B.C., 3
- Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health and Liberal MP from New Brunswick, 3
- Ian Foucher, deputy director of policy in Finance minister’s office, 3
- Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Heritage and Liberal MP from Quebec, 3
- Terry Duguid, Liberal MP from Manitoba, 3
- Wayne Easter, Liberal MP from PEI and chair of the Finance Committee, 3
Most lobbied government institutions:
- House of Commons, 64
- Health Canada, 15
- Finance Canada 10
- CFIA, 9
- Agriculture and AgriFood, 8
Most lobbied subjects, based on the first two subjects listed on each filing:
- Health, 44
- Agriculture, 27
- International trade, 25
- Industry, 19
- Economic Development, 17
-with files from Kirsten Smith