The crisis of the COVID-19 represents a windfall for the lobbyists

La crise de la COVID-19 représente une manne pour les lobbyistes

The economy turns may be slow, but not the lobbying industry, which is experiencing a “boom” thanks to the crisis, noted The Journal.

They want to ask for help from the government or whether they want to do business with them, companies, and those who advise them, are massively a lobbyist in Quebec and Canada at the present time.

“There really was a rush , “confirms Alain Madgin, senior vice-president of the firm public relations and government relations as a Citizen.

“A pandemic, it touches the heart of economic activities and government. It means a lot more interactions. The people have responded to the call of the government, ” he says.

A record

The registrations have jumped by 53 % in April compared to the previous year, in Quebec.

With a total of 534 new listings, this is the month of April, the busiest since at least 2015, and by far, according to data provided by the quebec ministry of Justice.

One of those lobbyists is former prime minister Jean Charest, who intervened with the government Legault to ensure that companies are saying are essential to be able to continue their activities, despite the pause of Quebec.

From 23 march to 12 April, Mr. Charest has contacted the ministry of Economy and the cabinet of minister Pierre Fitzgibbon on several occasions to defend the interests of 14 québec and foreign businesses, said The Newspaper two weeks ago.

In the federal capital also, we are active at a record pace.

The lobbyists have presented 2329 communication report in march, a leap substantial in the face of 1462 April 2019. In Ottawa, it is the month of April, the busiest since 2010, according to data from the commissioner of lobbying.

No less than 368 lobbyists communicate currently with the office holders in federal government concerning the coronavirus and we know that a lobbyist may work for several clients at the same time.


These statistics do not surprised by anything Mr. Madgin, whose team was not idle since the beginning of the confinement. This is a crucial period for the economy and businesses want to be consulted, ” he said.

Several companies that were not in the habit of doing business with the government have wished to respond to the appeal launched by the prime minister Legault, according to him.

“The prime minister asked them to propose things, so in this moment, we advise a lot of people who have never had to call the government. The people have responded. “

While in the first few weeks, it was mostly to provide to government request in masks, for example, the entries of the last days carry a lot on the” after-COVID-19 “, note also Alain Madgin.

… or influence

Others, like the giant of the tourist rental Airbnb, have instead attempted to influence the Quebec to put in place measures to help.

The u.s. company, which announced this week the layoff of nearly 25 % of its workforce worldwide, wanted to set up a program of assistance for the “hosts” who have seen their income fall because of the sars coronavirus.

The company wanted to, in particular, that Quebec would suspend for one year the tax on lodging and that its “hosts” are eligible to various support programs for employees.


  • 534 additional entries in Quebec city in April (+53 %)
  • 2329 additional submissions to Ottawa in march (+59 %)

Lobbying, what is it ?

“Any oral or written communication with a public office holder in an attempt to influence or that may reasonably be regarded, by the person who initiates, as being likely to influence the decision-making “

– ministry of Justice of Quebec

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