Democracy Watch filed complaints with the federal Ethics Commissioner and the Commissioner of Lobbying about the Council of Canadian Innovators' appeal to its members, and also its lobbying activities overall.
They're registered to lobby Chrystia Freeland's department. They haven't lobbied her directly. Our position is that rule 6 of the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct means that if you are lobbying one of her staff or senior officials, you're lobbying her, because they're going to report what you said to her.
We filed a complaint saying that they are not allowed to do that. They can't be, because a co-manager of Chrystia Freeland's 2015 campaign is the executive director of the Council of Canadian Innovators.
If the Commissioner of Lobbying allows that, then that's what every lobbyist who might have helped a party or a candidate during the 2015 election will start doing: they won't lobby the person they worked for, they'll lobby their staff. That would just make the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct a huge loophole. It would be meaningless.
We're hoping the Commissioner of Lobbying will make the right ruling, which is that you can't lobby a minister indirectly and say you're not lobbying the person you worked for and helped get elected. Yes, you are. Why would you lobby the senior official if they're not going to tell the minister what you said?
On the Ethics Commissioner side, the Ethics Commissioner has sent back a ruling to us. We're questioning her, because she didn't even look at some of the facts of the situation and the issue of whether preferential treatment is being given.
You had also asked us about third parties. Generally Democracy Watch and the coalition's position is—and this is what the government is apparently looking at for another bill—that third parties should be limited in their spending for a longer period than just the election period campaign. B.C. has just limited it to 60 days before the writ is dropped, so it's essentially 90 to 100 days before election day. That's appropriate. B.C. is also—