Government delivers on a key component of the Federal Accountability Act - The Lobbying Act



    OTTAWA, June 27 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Vic Toews, President of the
Treasury Board, today announced the coming into force of the Lobbying Act on
July 2, 2008, delivering on a key component of the Federal Accountability Act.
    "The government has managed to strike the right balance between
legitimate lobbying activities and the right of Canadians to know who is
lobbying public office holders, and in what context. The Lobbying Act delivers
on both these imperatives," said Minister Toews.
    Starting July 2, the Lobbying Act creates the new position of
Commissioner of Lobbying, which holds enhanced investigative powers and the
mandate to ensure that lobbying is done in a transparent and ethical way.
    The coming into force of the Lobbying Act also requires lobbyists to
publicly disclose their lobbying activities on the Web site of the Office of
the Commissioner of Lobbying.
    Furthermore, the Act sets a new category of senior government officials
called designated public office holders, which includes ministers, ministerial
staffers, and senior public servants. Designated public office holders will be
prohibited from registering and lobbying the Government of Canada for five
years after leaving office.
    "After celebrating Canada's 141st birthday, what better way to start
Canada's new year than by delivering increased accountability in Ottawa and a
more open and transparent government for all Canadians," concluded Minister
Toews.
    Until the selection process for the new Commissioner of Lobbying is
complete, Ms. Karen Shepherd has been appointed as Interim Commissioner of
Lobbying for a period of six months starting July 2. Ms. Shepherd is currently
Director of Investigations and Deputy Registrar for the Office of the
Registrar of Lobbyists.
    Minister Toews, on behalf of the Government, took the opportunity to
thank Registrar of Lobbyists Michael Nelson, who is retiring from the Public
Service, for his dedication and excellence in serving Canadians over the
years.
    This announcement is part of the implementation of the Federal
Accountability Act. Through the Federal Accountability Act and its
accompanying Action Plan, the government has brought forward specific measures
to strengthen accountability in government. More information on the Federal
Accountability Act and Action Plan is available at www.accountability.gc.ca.

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                                                              June 27, 2008

                       Interim Commissioner of Lobbying
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    Biography - Karen Shepherd

    Karen Shepherd has been appointed Interim Commissioner of Lobbying for a
period of six months starting July 2, 2008. Ms. Shepherd previously held the
position of Director of Investigations and Deputy Registrar at the Office of
the Registrar of Lobbyists.
    Before joining the Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists, Ms. Shepherd
served in several federal institutions, including Industry Canada, Revenue
Canada, the Office of the Auditor General, Energy, Mines and Resources Canada
and Employment and Immigration Canada.
    Ms. Shepherd holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia University and
a Master of Arts from Carleton University.
    




For further information:

For further information: Mike Storeshaw, Director of Communications,
Office of the President of the Treasury Board, (613) 957-2666; Robert
Makichuk, Chief, Media Relations, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, (613)
957-2391; TTY (Telecommunications device for the hearing impaired) - (613)
957-9090; This news release is available online at: www.tbs-sct.gc.ca


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