On March 25, 2015, the Québec Government published a draft regulation that paves the way for simplifying the procedure for filing registrations electronically with the Québec Registry of Lobbyists.
Since June 13, 2002, when the Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Actcame into force, any person filing a return or notice who wishes to submit a registration electronically with the Registry of Lobbyists may do so only if he or she has a signature key pair – an electronic signature key. This requirement adds a layer of complexity to the electronic filing of registrations.
Obtaining an electronic signature key requires prior verification of the key-holder's identity with an authorized identity verification agent (usually a notary) of the Service de certification of the Ministère de la Justice. The certification key is then obtained via telephone from the certification department. The key is personal to its holder and may not be shared with anyone else. This procedure complicates the registration filing process, especially for companies, because only individuals who have the key may file registrations electronically.
Registrations may be submitted on paper, but paper filings are subject to a registration fee not otherwise chargeable in the case of electronic filing.
The draft regulation amends the Lobbyists Registry Regulation by eliminating the signature key requirement, and sets the stage for the Lobbyists Commissioner to authorize the use of an alternate mode of identification, such as an identifier and a password.
The amendment was announced in the annual activity report of the Lobbyists Commissioner for 2013-2014.
The draft regulation is subject to a 45-day public comment period following March 25, 2015.
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