Commissioner says lobbying of federal departments, politicians hits record high

Lobbying hits record high

The federal lobbying commissioner says government agencies and officials faced a record barrage of pitches in the last year from groups trying to shape the country's pandemic response.

Today's report from commissioner Nancy Belanger says there were records set for the number of groups lobbying the government, the number of lobbyists representing them.

The report says federal economic policy topped the list of most lobbied subjects for the first time since the commissioner's office began tracking in mid-2008.

Belanger notes the COVID-19 pandemic had an effect on how and when lobbyists connected with government officials.

Many lobbyists eased off reaching out to officials early on in the pandemic in favour of what Belanger describes as a strategy of interjecting only when information might be crucial to play a key role in shaping programs being developed at lightening speed for a government.

Belanger's report also notes how video conferencing made it easier for lobbyists to connect with government officials, and she suggests the option may continue to be used post-pandemic.

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