COVID-19 pandemic sparks surge in lobbying of federal government

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OTTAWA -- The COVID-19 crisis has prompted a surge in lobbying as companies and organizations press the federal government to come to the aid of Canadians hard hit by the pandemic-induced lockdown.

Lobbying commissioner Nancy Belanger says 441 lobbyists have registered with her office to make their case to the federal government on matters related to the pandemic.

She says registrations during March were the highest for that month that her office has seen since its creation 12 years ago.

Members of Parliament were the most lobbied of all federal institutions over the past fiscal year, followed by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, the Prime Minister's Office and the Finance Canada.

Overall, health was the top subject mentioned in the monthly reports lobbyists are required file on their activities.

Belanger says lobbying activity was down last fall due to the federal election campaign but shot up during the first three months of this year as the pandemic took hold.

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