The Heart & Stroke Foundation’s most active lobby group in March

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The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada was the active host of the federal lobbying circuit in March, recording 62 communication reports with the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying for this month.

READ MORE: Canadian Labor Congress, mortgage professionals most active on the federal lobbying scene in February

The charity group works to advance research on heart disease and stroke. He has a long list of political goals detailed in his internal registration with the Commissioner’s office, ranging from urgent matters such as obtaining financial support for the charitable sector affected by COVID-19 and renewing his heart. federally funded women and the Brain Health Initiative to achieve longer-term goals, such as establishing a federal fund dedicated to active transportation infrastructure and the introduction of a national insurance program -medicines.

A Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson told iPolitics that the group had two days of lobbying on March 10 and 11, and officials held 70 meetings in which they spoke to officials about “protecting young people against vaping and put in place a universal drug plan. ”

Stephanie Lawrence also said that since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Heart and Stroke Foundation has been working with partner charities across Canada to ensure the “viability of the important sector without profit ”, with the cancellation of the popular group meeting. The spring and summer fundraising events alone “mean a shortfall of $ 25 million this year.

“We are exploring innovative approaches to raising funds and are identifying ways to keep costs down. We appreciate the announcements made by the government to date, including the emergency wage subsidy and the emergency community support fund, but more needs to be done to support the operating costs of charities and important programs and vital research initiatives, “she said in an emailed statement.

Lawrence also noted that this is a “particularly stressful time” for people living with heart disease or stroke, as they are at increased risk of becoming very sick and dying if they contract COVID- 19.

“As a result, Heart & Stroke has increased support for people living with our conditions and their caregivers. We continue to add a wealth of specific health information and resources (COVID-19) to our website (English and French), social media channels and newsletters to support our online communities and to offer a series of webinars, “she added.

The themes of the foundation’s 62 communication reports in March were health, the charity reporting communications with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau himself, Minister of Health Patty Hajdu and the former Minister of Health and current government whip, Ginette Petitpas Taylor. He also contacted a wide collection of MPs, including the Liberals Francis Drouin, Francesco Sorbara, Kirsty Duncan, Pam Damoff, Wayne Easter and Andy Fillmore; Conservatives Chris d´Entremont, Kenny Chiu, Blaine Calkins and Scot Davidson; NDP Carol Hughes and Alistair MacGregor; Luc Thériault from the Bloc Québécois; and Green MP Jenica Atwin.

The foundation also recorded communications with Senators Jane Cordy, Peter Harder, Stan Kutcher, Mohamed-Iqbal Ravalia and Chantal Petitclerc, as well as with staff and bureaucrats from the Treasury Board Secretariat, Health Canada and the Prime Minister’s Office.

All registered lobbyists and organizations must file reports with the office of the Commissioner detailing all communications with designated public office holders regarding their advocacy activities. Communications cover face-to-face meetings, as well as scheduled telephone calls.

The reports must detail the subjects covered and must be submitted no later than the 15th of the following month.

Collectively, 2,342 reports were filed with the commissioner’s office in march, a decrease of 33.4% compared to the 3,519 reports filed in February. March was supposed to be when the current Liberal government tabled its fifth federal budget, but this has been postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association was the second most active lobbying body in March, recording 35 reports with the office of the Commissioner, which covered a wide range of topics, including infrastructure, the environment, international trade and Aboriginal affairs , although most were related to agriculture.

The group, which represents beef producers, reported communications with Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance Sean Fraser and Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture Neil Ellis, as well as staff the Prime Minister’s Office, the Office of the Minister of Health, the office of the Minister of Finance, Employment and Social Development Canada, and the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Department of Justice.

READ MORE: Farmers considering euthanasia because COVID-19 restricts access to plants

Canada’s pork, cattle and poultry producers have asked for Ottawa’s support to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic as the outbreak shut down or slowed down operations in the country’s processing plants.

Farmers’ groups at House Industry Committee teleconference on Monday warned that producers are ‘very close’ to euthanizing livestock because hundreds of thousands of animals are behind processing time thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keith Currie, Executive Vice-President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, said that farmers are increasingly frustrated when asked to seek support from existing business risk management programs than farm organizations have identified for years as inadequate and in need of reform.

“Producers will have to make a commercial depopulation decision because not only is this embarrassing for the animal, but without income and with the same costs incurred for these animals, a commercial decision must be made,” he said. said.

Advocacy group representing Canadian oil producers, who saw their prices go up amid declining demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, was the third most active lobby group on the Hill in March, publishing 33 communication reports with the commissioner’s office.

The subjects of all but four reports tabled by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) this month were listed as “energy, taxation and finance, health”.

Responding to calls from the oil and gas industry, Trudeau announced in mid-April a $ 1.7 billion fund to accelerate the cleanup of orphaned and inactive wells in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. He also said that Ottawa would also establish a $ 750 million emission reduction fund that will provide repayable loans to businesses to help them reduce waste and pollution.

CAPP told iPolitics in a press release that it continues to lobby on behalf of its members to support the oil and natural gas industry, noting that it is also focused on maintaining “reliable supply in natural gas and oil for Canadians as an essential heating service. ” their homes, drive their vehicles and provide the energy needed for daily life during this crisis. “

“As one of Canada’s largest employers, the industry is working with the federal and provincial governments to find the most effective ways to create immediate job opportunities to help all Canadians who are part of the energy industry, “the group said in a statement.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers released 33 communication reports with the office of the Federal Commissioner of Lobbying in March. (Photo: CC, Gina Dittmer)

“We appreciate the opportunities to provide our expertise, as well as other key stakeholders, on the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis and the related market crisis on our industry. We will continue to work with government as a constructive, solution-oriented stakeholder to contribute to the economic well-being of the country and the path to recovery. “

READ MORE: Trudeau announces funding to clean up wells of orphans, rural workers, arts and sports

CAPP also noted that it uses “virtual tools to pursue the necessary engagement while respecting the directives of the health authorities”.

With files by Rachel Emmanuel

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