There are those who would be so unkind as to use the four letter word in describing the Minister, but I am not in that group. I simply say the Minister knew who his
July 25, 1988
Lobbyists Registration Act
friends were and who his friends are. He recognizes that he cannot bite the hand that feeds his Government with juicy contributions that come in very handy in an election year.
Who is a lobbyist? We have defined a lobbyist for the purposes of this debate as anyone who, for pay, approaches a legislator or anyone within the bureaucracy with the intent to influence the drafting or changing of legislation, the changing of rules or regulations to the obtaining contracts or appointments to boards or commissions.
Before I came here in 1972, I and many Canadians were aware that there were very powerful interests outside Parliament which seemed to have their own way with the Government in dealing with contracts and appointments. In fact, I have a comment which sums up the way it was and the way it will continue to be in spite of Bill C-82.
It is from an article that I clipped from The Gazette in Montreal on December 3, 1986. The headline reads "Lobbying Threatens Parties: Masse". It goes on to say:
Energy Minister Marcel Masse said yesterday the growing popularity of lobbying is undermining Canada's political party system.
He went on to say, as reported in the article:
"It has become infinitely more easy to attract the attention of one's fellow citizens, the communications media and even the Government by belonging to a pressure group than through advancing one's ideas inside a political party," Masse said.
He went on to say that the danger inherent in lobbying is that it gives disproportionate weight to the opinions of the rich and the powerful. In fact, if people want to bring about change in our kind of democratic system, they should become involved in a political Party and work to make changes.
There is a further refinement that is even more invidious than the ones the Minister described. There are those who latch on, as a scavenger fish latches on to a shark, to the Government. They become friends of the Government and they work for the election of a Prime Minister or a Government because they know that when that person becomes Prime Minister or when that Party forms the Government, they can then extricate themselves from this close relationship and join or start a lobbying company.
In fact, because of the friendships these people have created within the political Party that now forms the Government, the fruits of their labours can finally ripen and fall into their hands.
Subtopic: LOBBYISTS REGISTRATION ACT
Sub-subtopic: MEASURE TO ENACT