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Government Relations Protocol

Classification number LCG 1199.02
Framework category Legal, Compliance and Governance
Approving authority Senior Leadership Team
Policy owner Vice-President, External Relations and Advancement
Approval date May 2011
Review date To be assigned
Last updated Editorial Amendments, February 18, 2020


The University is committed to cultivating strong, long-term relationships at all levels of government in order to advance the university’s mission and mandate. To this end, it is critical that all initiatives in this area are undertaken in an informed and coordinated manner to ensure that key messages are consistently and cogently conveyed, strategic agendas are aligned, diplomatic protocols are observed, and appropriate linkages are made between government officials and university personnel.  At the same time, it is recognized that this important responsibility cuts across many campus operations and, thus, the ongoing exchange of information, expertise and approaches among those involved is essential to ensure that our collective efforts contribute to the overall government relations strategy at the University and that the University is in turn able to respond effectively to challenges and opportunities as they arise. Thus the following protocol is designed to support and strengthen government relations at the University.  

Government Relations Protocols

The University, through the Office of External Relations, seeks to build and strengthen long-term relations at all levels of government – federal, provincial, regional and municipal – in order to advance the University’s mission and mandate.  This includes:

  1. Relationship Building

    The environment of government is constantly evolving, and positive relationship building must therefore take place on an ongoing basis between university personnel and officials at all levels and in a wide range of ministries, both political and bureaucratic. For this to occur, senior officers, faculty and staff involved in these efforts must not only remain informed of the overall strategic priorities of the university, its contributions and achievements, and the ways in which these may align with key political priorities, but also keep other officers informed of new developments as they occur. 

    To this end, all government communications, reports and announcements received at the university must therefore be forwarded to External Relations for ongoing tracking and reporting.  External Relations, will, in turn, maintain a directory of key government contacts, monitor government activities at all levels, ensure that government decisions and strategies are appropriately reported within the university community, facilitate contacts with university personnel on specific issues, and offer advice and training to review protocols, goals and effective government relations strategies.

  2. Lobbying and Advocacy

    The University complies with the federal Officer of the Commissioner of Lobbying, and at the provincial government level, and as such it is required to file regular reports on the details of all communications and meetings that take place between the University officers and federal officials.  To this end, all such activity must be reported to the Office of External Relations, which tracks and compiles the communications and files the reports to the Commission. 

  3. Proposals and Requests

    The university’s ability to remain flexible and responsive to new priorities and opportunities and to provide timely and consistent information on the University’s priorities, contributions and achievements is critical to our ongoing success.  Thus, the range of expertise among faculty and staff must be effectively marshalled to increase our potential for success.  To this end, External Relations offers experience and expertise to guide and coordinate in the development of proposals and reports and can facilitate contacts among faculty and staff to inform and support the proposal. 

    In addition, a copy of all major proposals of the University should be provided to External Relations, the Provost and Finance prior to their submission. External Relations will ensure that these are added to the list of all asks/requests made to government for tracking and reporting purposes. 

  4. Receipt of Proposal Response and Government Funding

    When government funding is received in the form of operating grants, special purpose grants, accessibility grants and other operational funding grants, this information shall be shared between External Relations, Finance, and the Office of the Provost. When research grants are awarded, the Office of Research Services will advise External Relations so that its list of requests/asks can be updated.

  5. On Campus Meetings and Events

    All meetings, events and other activities involving government politicians, staff and bureaucrats to be housed on campus must be reported to External Relations.  The Office can in turn assist as appropriate in the organization and coordination of the event, the form and content of associated correspondence, the identification of relevant diplomatic protocols, and other details that will contribute to a successful outcome. If it is a tour or visit, please copy External Relations on the itinerary. 

  6. Capacity Building and Information Sharing

    The Government Relations Roundtable, comprised of key university personnel, is responsible for ensuring the ongoing advancement of the University's government relations agenda, including:
  • Developing strategic and operational priorities for government relations activities at the University and monitoring progress.

  • Exchanging information on new developments, challenges and opportunities emanating from government activities.

  • Identifying the ways in which the University can best demonstrate its contributions and achievements in response to evolving government priorities. 

  • Determining the University’s role in government initiatives and opportunities as they emerge.

  • Overseeing the preparation and filing of the reports regarding the University’s compliance with various legislative requirements (e.g., Lobbying Act). 

  • Providing an annual report on all government relations activities across the university and the results of these efforts.