N.S. official sends letter to Jean Chretien, asks about meeting with premier

A Nova Scotia official has sent a letter to Jean Chretien asking him whether he lobbied the premier regarding a container port proposal in Cape Breton, but there's no requirement for the former prime minister to reply.

Hayley Clarke, the province's registrar of lobbyists, says she sent the letter to Chretien's Ottawa office at the beginning of the month after receiving a complaint from a citizen about the meeting.

But Clarke says she can only provide Chretien with information about how Nova Scotia's Lobbyists Registration Act works, and has no legal authority to push the matter much further.

Clarke says she advised him they had received a complaint, and asked him to follow up by the end of the month.

But it's not an investigative procedure with legislated deadlines.

The law does stipulate a fine of not more than $25 thousand for a first offence for anyone who lobbies without registering first.

But Nova Scotia's legislation doesn't provide the registrar with investigative powers to determine if unregistered lobbying occurred.