Lobbyists in Canada are required by law to register with the lobbying registry of all jurisdictions they are active in, and to disclose certain information about their activity. The type of information lobbyists need to disclose varies by region but generally speaking it includes which organizations they’re lobbying for, what laws they want changed and/or what government money they have or hope to receive.

The IJF collected lobbying data by scraping it from the websites of the federal, provincial and Yukon lobbyist registries.

The data in our lobbying database details lobbying done by both “in-house” lobbyists, i.e. lobbyists who are employees of the organization seeking to influence government, as well as “consultant” lobbyists, i.e. lobbyists who are hired by the organization seeking to influence government but who actually work for a company that specializes in lobbying.

Lobbying Registrations

The Lobbying Registrations database contains details on individual lobbyists, lobbying organizations, what subjects are being lobbied and which government officials and agencies are being lobbied.

Data collection

The Lobbying Registrations database was created by scraping and downloading lobbyist registries from each jurisdiction. Lobbying information varies by region, with some jurisdictions reporting all lobbying communication methods and details on the subjects they want to discuss with government officials, while others only report the name of the lobbyist, the organization they work for and a few keywords summarizing what they want to talk about.

Data cleaning

Data from separate lobbying registries comes in different formats and contains varying levels of detail depending on its origin.

In the Lobbying Registrations database, each page on our website represents one version of a lobbying registration. Lobbyist registrations pass through many versions as the filing lobbyist(s) update their disclosures over time, for instance when they seek to influence a new member of a government. Each such change entails a new version. While much information between versions is repeated, for each lobbyist in our database, you can see all available versions of the same registration plotted on a timeline at the top of that lobbyists’ page.

Individual lobbying entities can also hold multiple separate registrations at the same time, though the registry treats them as totally unrelated.

For example, at the federal level, the way it usually works is that an organization will have a single registration for its “in-house corporation” lobbyists, i.e. employees of the company who lobby on behalf of the company. However it is common for organizations to hire outside consultants employed by a public relations firm who lobby on their behalf.

This results in consultant registrations being logged under a unique registration number different from that of an official in-house corporation registration. Consultant lobbying may even be logged under a slightly different organization name than that of the in-house registration. For example, the Mining Association of Canada’s included an acronym (Mac) as part of its name in its in-house corporation registration. One outside consultant registering their lobbying on behalf of the organization didn’t include the acronym.

In the most complicated cases, this results in major lobbying powers, like Suncor Energy for example, having many successive versions of not one but several different registrations.

Where possible, the IJF standardized the formats of certain text and date columns. Examples of cleaning include standardizing date formats to YYYY-MM-DD and title casing names and titles.

For all jurisdictions, the lobbying targets column contains a wide range of misspellings and variations of agency names. E.g. “Canadian Institute for Health Research", "Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR)" and “C.I.H.R” all represent the same entity. The IJF standardized a small percentage of these agency names that were the most commonly lobbied, but the database still contains a significant number of variations.


Lobbyists disclose data themselves and often use different spellings for the politicians they meet with. For example, the name of minister of international development Harjit Sajjan was recorded as “Harjit Sadjin”, “Harjitt Sajan”, “Harjit Saijan”, and other variations.

In addition to different name spellings, there are also often inconsistent title conventions used for the same person. For example, the minister of transport has been identified as “'Minister Of Transport Canada”, “Minister, Transport Canada”,”Transport Minister”, and “Minister Of State For Transport”, among other titles.

In spite of these inconsistencies, the IJF strove to mostly leave these values as they were submitted by lobbyists, only altering some values where we could verify a mistake as having occurred.

Finally, the IJF made decisions on how to merge columns with varying meanings from different regions together into a single database. For example, in New Brunswick, the column “date filed” was used as the “start date” column in our database, since it was the only date column available in that region. However, other regions have “start date” and “date submitted” columns.

Government Funding

The Government Funding database shows the amount of funding that organizations in the lobby registry have received from the government and the source of government funding.

Data collection

Data for the Government Funding database was scraped from each Canadian province’s respective online lobbying registry, as well as the federal lobbying registry.


All provinces and territories with lobbyist registries require lobbyists to disclose what government funding they might have received during the periods they were lobbying. However, the laws on what must be disclosed, and the enforcement of those laws, varies across jurisdiction.

For example, most provincial registries mandate that private corporations disclose the dollar figures that they received, but the Yukon registry only mandates the disclosure of whether a private corporation received money or not and from whom. While Saskatchewan groups its data by financial year, British Columbia only asks for the period of time for which that funding was received, be it days or months.

Most importantly, because lobbyists submit the data themselves there is the potential for an in-house lobbyist to report one amount while a consultant lobbyist for the same company reports a different amount.

This problem is especially prominent in the federal registry, where some organizations update their information multiple times a year. This gives private corporations the opportunity to update the amounts they receive as their budgets change, but they also might not necessarily communicate these changes to an outside consultant. No distinction is made at the end of a given financial year to clarify what is the final figure for a funding line item.

For example, Shell Canada’s last in-house corporation registration for 2020 disclosed that it had only received one instance of government funding from the Government of Alberta totalling approximately 29 million dollars for the entirety of that financial year. However, for the same financial year, an outside consultant working for Shell disclosed three funding instances totalling approximately 77 million dollars.

Data cleaning

Both Quebec and New Brunswick’s lobbying registries include government funding amounts spelled out as text. All other jurisdictions only have numbers. This required both provinces’ government funding data to undergo extensive cleaning prior to it being included in our database. In 95 per cent of cases, values that included non-numeric characters or spaces – like “$100.00”, “CAD 100” or “1 mille” – were cleaned programmatically. Others – like “30 000 + 15 000(fromages) – were cleaned manually to convert the text into numbers.

Additionally, where the IJF could guarantee the existence of an exact duplicate, where two or more funding instances had the exact same source, amount and year, the IJF deleted all duplicate values and kept the funding instance belonging to the most recent registration version. Because of the aforementioned issue regarding separately filed registrations by the same entity, the IJF did not delete duplicates if any of those parameters differed even slightly, as to allow for the discrepancies to be viewable by the public.

Please see the above Lobbying Registrations section for other raw data limitations.

Revolving Door

The Revolving Door lobbying database contains information on lobbyists who held government positions prior to becoming lobbyists. Lobbyists going from government into the private sector creates opportunities for them to use their insider knowledge to benefit their new employer.

Many lobbyists are known to have held senior government roles in government, often in departments that are directly or indirectly related to their client’s activities. For example, John Madower worked as the Chief of Programme for the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence, and later lobbied for Lockheed Martin’s Rotary & Mission Systems - Training & Logistics Solutions division.

Laws banning government officials from lobbying vary by jurisdiction. Under the federal Lobbying Act, former public office holders are prohibited from carrying on most lobbying activities for a period of five years. The lobbying commissioner may grant exceptions if the public office holder was only in office for a short period, only had administrative duties or for other reasons. In British Columbia, the prohibition is only two years, while in Saskatchewan, it is one year.

Data collection

Please see the above Lobbying Registrations section.

Data cleaning

Values in the Revolving Door database were cleaned where possible. Examples of cleaning include removing numbers from results like “(14) Intelligence Officer in Director of Defence Intelligence (1980-1981) (DND)” and title casing government titles. Similar standardization of names from the Registry database (i.e. changing “last name, first name” to “first name last name”) was also applied to the Revolving Door database.


The Revolving Door database only includes designated public office positions, which are defined by the respective jurisdiction’s lobbying laws. What a certain province designates as a position that requires disclosure varies, so our database may not capture all previous government positions held by a lobbyist.

For example, under British Columbia's definition of a “former public office holder,” a lobbyist who was formerly a non-senior, non-director level communications manager of a B.C ministry would not be required to disclose their previous government position. This means they would also not be prohibited by the two-year lobbying ban for former public office holders. However, in the federal Lobbying Act, the definition of a “designated public office holder” includes a non-senior, non-director level communications manager, so people who held those roles would be disclosed.

Lobbying Communications

The Lobbying Communications database shows meetings or communications with government officials that were disclosed by lobbyists, and the general subject matter of their communication. While Lobbying Registrations offers general information regarding the aims of lobbyists, Lobbying Communications detail specific interactions between lobbyists and government officials. These interactions can take the form of a range of activities, including emails, meetings and phone calls.

Data collection

Communication reports data was scraped from the federal and B.C lobbying registry websites. This data is found on the organization’s registration webpage, at the “Total Number of Communication Reports” link for the federal registry and “Total number of Lobbying Activity Reports” link for British Columbia.

Data cleaning

See above Lobbying Registrations section.


The Lobbying Communications database is only available for Federal and British Columbia lobbying activities. For federal lobbying, lobbyists are only required to disclose communications that were initiated by lobbyists, not by government officials, and only for certain intentions such as changes to legislation, requests for money, or awarding of contracts. See the Lobbying Act for details. For limitations on the scraped data, please refer to the above Lobbying Registrations section.