While you’re here… help us stay here.

Are you enjoying open access to policy and research published by a broad range of organisations? Please donate today so that we can continue to provide this service.


The rise of China has added special urgency to the question of foreign influence and foreign interference. While diaspora politics plays a role in this, China’s reach and influence now extends far beyond the Chinese diaspora community.

For the purposes of this paper, a foreign agent is a Canadian who lobbies or communicates on behalf of a foreign principal to influence Canadian government policy or public opinion in Canada. While acting as a foreign agent overlaps in many important ways with what we have traditionally defined as lobbying, it can include activities, such as public political advocacy on behalf of a foreign principal, that aren’t adequately covered under the definition of lobbying set out in the Federal Accountability Act of 2006.

Key recommendations:

  • Establishing a registry of foreign agents to ensure transparency and accountability for former high-office holders engaged in any activity for which they are paid by foreign principals;
  • Prohibiting appointees to a federal board, agency, foundation or council in Canada from serving as a foreign agent for the duration of his/her appointment;
  • Making those engaged as foreign agents ineligible for Privy Council membership.
Publication Details
License type:
All Rights Reserved
Access Rights Type: