rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Comm. finds former PM staffer guilty of illegal lobbying

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca in its summer fundraiser today for as little as $5 per month!

The Commissioner of Lobbying has continued the partial enforcement of federal lobbying disclosure rules by finding Keith Beardsley, former deputy chief of staff for Prime Minister Harper, guilty of violating the Lobbyists' Code because he lobbied without registering within five years after leaving his job.

However, this ruling highlights just how weak the Lobbying Act is (compared to the Code), and how weak the enforcement of the law continues to be by the RCMP and especially the Public Prosecutor (who makes the decision about whether to charge lobbyists for failing to register).

Huge loopholes in the Act make it very difficult for prosecutors to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the lobbyist intentionally was paid to lobby and failed to register.

Unfortunately, the House Committee that just reviewed the Act failed to recommend closing the biggest loopholes (although they made some good recommendations to strengthen enforcement).

Secret, unethical lobbying of federal politicians and officials will continue to be effectively legal unless all the loopholes are closed, and all the Committee's other recommendations are enacted.

For details about the House Committee report, see: http://dwatch.ca/camp/RelsMay1712.html

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.