What goes on behind the doors of a lobbyist’s office? What even is a lobbyist and what can they achieve for agriculture?
Our guest today is Dave Carey, vice president, government and industry relations of Canadian Canola Growers Association, who’s just been named part of the Top 100 Lobbyists in Canada by The Hill Times.
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- What is a lobbyist? There are three different kinds
- Carey is an in-house lobbyist
- What are the files we can help farmers with? Crop protection products, trade issues
- Communicate to policy makers how a policy should be changed, why, or if it should be removed
- Unpacking issues for a largely urban audience
- Canola-heavy ridings are the natural MPs to discuss things with, or with people who understand agriculture
- 276 members of parliament are NOT from the Prairies; have to have a canola “elevator pitch”
- 1,500 km to tide-water
- Understanding other ministries’ mandates, like Environment; “kill the carbon tax” is a non-starter
- Have to follow the bureaucracy; ministerial staff are the ones sitting around the table with the minister
- 80 per cent increase in lobbying over 2019
- Zoom is a low cost way to interact with government; it might not stay that way thinks Carey
- Small staff to work with; in 2020 there were a lot of meetings for CCGA
- What works well and what doesn’t?
- Are there fringe/minority farm groups that directly counter lobby traction with government?
- Strange experiences? Gifts can be awkward for optics. Registering meetings by the 15th of each month
- There are a lot of rules, y’all
- If someone wanted to be an ag lobbyist, is there a typical path or education background to become one?
- What about U.S. lobby groups flooding Ottawa?
- What would the difference be, being a lobbyist for U.S. Canola Growers Association, vs Canada?
- Allotting time for each political party?