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Legislation

Departments dodging MP query on Facebook meetings, say critics

By Samantha Wright Allen      

They say the Lobbying Act must change so that the onus to report isn’t only on the lobbyist, but also the government, to improve accountability.

Ethics critics NDP MP Charlie Angus, left, and Conservative MP Peter Kent, right, say the Lobbying Act should change to capture all lobbying activity, including government-initiated meetings with Facebook Canada's head of public policy Kevin Chan, centre, a former Liberal staffer. The Hill Times photographs by Andrew Meade
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Some departments are “dodging” an MP’s question on government meetings with Facebook, revealing loopholes in the Lobbying Act that opposition critics say need fixing. Last month, in response to an Order Paper query about their meetings with Facebook, about half of the 50-plus government departments and agencies surveyed didn’t answer and instead deferred to the federal lobbying registry—where Conservative MP Randy Hoback (Prince Albert, Sask.) had noted in his question such records wouldn’t exist. Mr. Hoback’s colleague and his

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