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Lobby Wrap: Passenger transport hot topic on lobbying circuit

Placements Saint-Jerome Inc., a division of Groupe Peladeau, which owns taxis in Quebec, has hired several lobbyists to open discussions with the federal government about the speed of electrification of the “paid passenger” transportation industry in Canada. Estimates suggest the transportation sector accounts for about 25 per cent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. During the COP26 conference in Scotland earlier this month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated his campaign pledge to impose a hard cap on oil and gas emissions within the fossil fuel sector, while his government continues to push for a transition to electric vehicles.

LAST WEEK: Lobby Wrap: Ottawa asked to ease pest control regulations With the U.S. land border re-opened to fully vaccinated Canadians on Nov.

8, the Frontier Duty Free Association (FSFA), which promotes Canada’s land border duty-free industry, wants the federal government to adopt an HST rebate program to boost revenue from tourists, which would help businesses with post-COVID recovery. Tourism activity across the country remains below pre-pandemic levels, and travel to Canada still requires a negative molecular test at a cost of up to £300 within three days of entering the country.

The highlights Multiple Registrations This week, Placements Saint-Jerome Inc. led client organizations with a total of five registrations.

Three such organizations — Stripe, General Motors of Canada Company, and Fair Tax Treatment for Businesses Protecting Canadians Coalition — had two. The leading registrant companies were L’Orange Bleue Affaires Publiques Inc., with a total of five, as well as Summa Strategies Inc. and CFN Consultants with two. In recent agriculture/trade registrants:

Frontier Duty Free Association
(FDFA) was registered by Virginia Weese of Impact Global Affairs.

The company is hoping to change how the Customs Act and Duty-Free Regulations handles licensing of duty-free stores at land borders.  This includes economic and business support measures in lieu of the COVID-19 pandemic (particularly small business aid) — as well as combating a purported increase in contraband tobacco products sold domestically. In addition to those issues, the association is calling on the federal government adopt an HST rebate program to encourage tourist purchases, and is also looking to obtain a ruling from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on alcohol that is sold in duty-free Stores: namely,  that one-litre bottles would be “for export, and exempted from CFIA rules for internal Canadian alcohol sales.” Edmonton Global, which aims to boost economic development in Edmonton’s metropolitan region, was registered by Andrea Beltran of Global Public Affairs.

The group wants to meet with government officials to promote the Edmonton metro region’s “competitive economic advantages in attracting and retaining business investment and trade.” Notably, Edmonton Global received mass funding from a variety of government institutions at a federal, provincial, and municipal level during the last fiscal year: £2,050,527 from the City of Edmonton; £85,589 from the City of Fort Saskatchewan; £90,826 from the City of Leduc; £93,012 from the City of Spruce Grove; £162,415 from the City of Spruce Grove; £79,090 from Global Affairs Canada (GAC); £81,812 from Leduc County; £113,721 from Parkland County; £314,295 from Strathcona County; £83,534 from Sturgeon County; £58,364 from the Town of Beaumont; £11,596 from the Town of Bon Accord; £32,896 from the Town of Devon; £26,251 from the Town of Gibbons; £38,932 from the Town of Morinville; £55,270 the Town of Stony Plain; and £420,000 from Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD). Each of the institutions is expected to provide further funding throughout the current year.

Diageo Canada Inc. was registered by general manager Jodi Rumble as part of the company’s bid to reach out to officials at Transport Canada,  Health Canada, and the Public Health Agency of Canada on the World Health Organization’s Global Alcohol Strategy. Among the concerns listed in the filing: environmental policy, including plastic, carbon and recycling program; interprovincial barriers on spirits trading, “including e-commerce/DTC”; trade policy on the import and export of spirits (“EU and UK FTAs, CUSMA”); and tax policy as it relates to industry competition, particularly “addressing the impact of the escalator excise tax on the alcohol industry.” Other: Forest Protection Limited (FPL), Arbec, Bois d’Oeuvre Inc.

In recent arts/culture/copyright registrants: The Learning Partnership was registered by Melissa Zanette of KPW Communications. The company is pursuing funds for educational imperatives through the Early Learning and Child Care Innovation Program, Intersectoral Action Fund, and PromoScience Grant — as well as student training initiatives via the CanCode Program.

They are also requesting social media participation on “Take Your Kids to Work Day.” The Learning Partnership received £513,930 through Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) during the last fiscal year. As of this year, they are expected to receive funding from the Department of Education, Culture and Employment (Government of Northwest Territories); the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (Government of New Brunswick); the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (Government of Nova Scotia); the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning (Government of Prince Edward Island); the Department of Education (Government of Manitoba); the Department of Education (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador); and the Department of Education (Government of Nunavut).

In recent defence/security registrants: None. In recent energy/environment/climate registrants:

Kal Tire was registered by Ron Soreanu of Clear Strategy. The company wants to promote their business operations in Canada and emphasize internal measures surrounding “technology, innovation and contributions to carbon reduction” as it relates to Canada’s net-zero goals. In recent health registrants:

Innovative Medicines Canada was registered by Carl Davies of m5 Public Affairs. IMC is looking to raise awareness about regulatory changes to the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board and how this might impact the county’s biomedical and pharmaceutical industries. In recent Indigenous registrants:

None.

In recent industry registrants:
Stripe was registered by Robin MacLachlan and Lindsay Stevens of Summa Strategies Canada Inc., who have been brought on board to assist the company in its bid to promote the recent establishment of the company’s Canadian office, as well as get involved in policy development surrounding the modernization of Canada’s national payment systems.

Fair Tax Treatment for Businesses Protecting Canadians Coalition
was registered by Claudia Feldkamp of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP and David Douglas Robertson of EY Law LLP. The organization wishes to maintain an “existing policy interpretation” of the Excise Tax Act.

This means that commissions amassed by independent insurance distributors (i.e., “agents, brokers, managing general agents, and third-party administrators”) would not pay GST/HST. Other: Microbrasserie Le Prospecteur In recent tech/telecommunications registrants:

None. In recent transportation registrants: General Motors of Canada Company was registered by Jon Mack and Steven Noonan of CFN Consultants to reach out to government on the Light Utility Vehicle Project.

The company is seeking an arrangement with the Department of National Defence (DND) as well as “lateral engagement” with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED). GM received £59,353,089 from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and £1,255,000 from the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) during the last fiscal year, and are expected to receive further funding from both institutions this year too. Placements Saint-Jerome Inc. was registered on multiple occasions by Mathieu Santerre, Martin Pichette, Charles Briere-Garneau, Robby Desjardins, and Emile Gauthier — all L’Orange Bleue Affaires Publiques Inc.

The organization is concerned with expediting Canada’s transition towards green energy in the “paid passenger” transportation industry and moving towards a widespread embrace of electrical vehicles. Of note: Easter Seals was registered by its president and CEO, David Starrett.

The organization wants to engage policy makers on matters that impact Canadian living with disabilities, including “economic development, employment and training, health, housing, labour, sports, […] taxation, and finance.”

Humanitarian Coalition
was registered by executive director Richard Morgan. They are looking to tap into the Canadian Humanitarian Assistance Fund (CHAF) and the Humanitarian Coalition Dedicated Matching Fund (MF), with funds to be funneled towards reconciling the most pressing of international humanitarian crises, “often triggered by significant natural or man-made disasters.” They are looking to strengthen those programs as well as engage Canadians far and wide for donations. Other: Tamil Rights Group

Communications There were 216 communication reports filed in the period covered, with a total of 320 communications. Most active client organizations
Fertilizer Canada: 20 communications, in-house staff
Greater Toronto Airports Authority: 15 communications, in-house staff
Restaurants Canada: 13 communications, in-house staff
University of Manitoba: 12 communications, in-house staff
FPInnovations: 10 communications, in-house staff

Most active paid lobbyists
Tom Garrett for 1 client: 9 communications
Jonathan Ballingall for 4 clients: 8 communications
Ted Gruetzner for 1 client: 6 communications
Martin-Pierre Pelletier for 1 client: 5 communications
Lonzell Locklear for 1 client: 5 communications Most lobbied public office holders
Nipun Vats, Assistant Deputy Minister, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED): 7 communications
Tyler Meredith, Director of Strategy, Finance Canada (FIN): 6 communications
Sebastien Aubertin-Giguere, Assistant Deputy Minister (COVID-19 Testing, Contact Tracing & Data Management Strategies),  Health Canada (HC): 5 communications
Patrick Ballay, Acting Director, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC): 5 communications
Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO): 4 communications Most lobbied government institutions
House of Commons: 51 communications
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED): 26 communications
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan): 19 communications
Health Canada (HC): 19 communications
Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC): 17 communications

Most lobbied subject matters
Environment: 53 communications
Agriculture: 49 communications
Health: 42 communications
Economic Development: 38 communications
Transportation: 32 communications

 With files from Sam Chilton

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