AccountabilityWatch Extra: First a dart, now a laurel.

Never let it be said that, during her periodic forays into AccountabilityWatch-ing , ITQ doesn’t report on the good news as well as the bad.

She was, as noted below, somewhat frustrated to find out that the identities of those who apply for an exemption from the five year ban on lobbying are shrouded from prying eyes unless their request is approved by the commissioner.

On the flipside, however, she is entirely delighted to discover that the Office of the Lobbying Commissioner has finally made it clear that, as ITQ put it earlier this year, all lobbyist disclosures are not created equal.

Pull up an entry from the communications log database that was filed by an in-house – or “corporate” lobbyist – and the following text now appears at the bottom:

The above name is that of the most senior paid officer who is responsible for filing a return for a corporation or organization (the Registrant), whether that person participated in this communication or not. Indeed, the Lobbyists Registration Regulations do not require that the names of in-house lobbyists (i.e. employees of corporations or organizations) who actually participated in this communication with a designated public office holder be disclosed.

In other words, just because it looks like Alliance of Manufacturers and Exporters  Jayson Myers has gotten face time with the Prime Minister, four cabinet ministers and Canada’s current Ambassador to the United States over the last eight months, it doesn’t actually mean that he was present at every one of those meetings. It could have been any one of the 25 AMEC staffers listed in his registration. Consultant lobbyists, however, are still required to file communications reports under their own names. Why the double standard?

ITQ still doesn’t know – but at least now there’s less chance of confusion.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.