Is Bill C-70’s proposed registry raising concerns for the legal community? Jacques Shore shares his thoughts with The Hill Times

On May 6, Canada introduced Bill C-70, the Countering Foreign Interference Act. The bill proposes a new Foreign Influence Transparency and Accountability Act, which would include a registry to track people and organizations that work to influence Canadian politics on behalf of foreign entities.

A key concern is that the bill lacks an exception for lawyers providing legal advice to foreign clients. This differs from the approach of Western allies, which exempt lawyers as long as they are not trying to influence government officials outside of legal proceedings.

Jacques J.M Shore, C.M. a partner in Gowling WLG’s Ottawa office, spoke with The Hill Times about the new bill. He believes the foreign influence registry is crucial but is surprised as to why Canada has not followed the examples set by allies already addressing foreign interference.

“We have to be able to know who is trying to influence us, but we have to be mindful of the importance of the relationship between solicitor and client,” he said. “There’s something sacred about that privilege, and it’s not something I think we should tamper with.”

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