Company Profile: Google

Google has been the most significant information network and search engine on the internet for well over a decade, and its ever-expanding pursuits see the company constantly growing. Its parent company Alphabet has expanded into markets from news to cloud services. Recently Google has battled with the Canadian Government over news sharing over Bill C-18. Bill C-18 is a new bill brought forward by the Minister of Canadian Heritage that would force social media and distribution platforms, like Google and Meta, to pay the publishers and authors of the news stories they spread on their platforms. This has been one of several battles between Google and the Government of Canada. Previously they have also conflicted with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada about the rights to privacy and access to information under PIPEDA involving search engines like Google.

Google Contracts: Google has steadily held contracts with the Canadian Government with a value of over $10, 000 for just under two decades, dating back to 2004 (this is the published start date of contracts due to the commencement of proactive disclosures). The contracts reached their peak in 2021, with 20 registered contracts accumulating to a total cost of $3, 699, 390.86. The contracts range from Google Workspace Business Plus subscriptions to IT services to National Defence contracts. The last year documented, 2022, saw a total of 11 contracts and marked a considerable downturn compared to 2021, but similar to 2020, in the government’s dealings with the company.

Line graph showing number of registered lobbying communications by Google per year between 2005 and 2023. There is a peak in 2006 and another in 2021.

Google Cloud Corporation Canada and Google Canada currently have 10 active registered lobbyists. The majority of these individuals are from two lobbying firms. The first and most prominent is Summa Strategies, and the second is CFN Consultants. Summa Strategies employs five of the ten lobbyists and advertises itself as a public relations and crisis communications firm. CFN consultants comprise two of the ten and focus primarily on analytical expertise and government consultation. Managing Director of Google Canada, Sabrina Geremia, is listed as a lobbyist. Google Canada Corporation uses two additional consultants from CFN Consultants and four additional consultants from Summa Strategies.  The data in the table below is taken from the Canadian federal lobbying registry.

NamePositionFirmActive/InactivePublic Office Held
Alexander SchwabConsultantCFN ConsultantsActiveDirector, Joint and Combined CIS Force Design Department of National Defence, ADM IM July 2019 to June 2021Not a designated officeChief of Staff, Military Partnership Directorate, NATO Department of National Defence, VCDS July 2016 to July 2019 Not a designated officeChief of Staff, DGIMO Department of National Defence, ADM IM July 2014 to July 2016 Not a designated officeCommander, 76 Communications Group Department of National Defence, ADM IM July 2012 to July 2014 Not a designated officeProject Manager, Integrated Desktop Department of National Defence, ADM IM July 2011 to July 2012 Not a designated officeCanadian Expeditionary Command J6 Department of National Defence, Canadian Expeditionary Command Not a designated Office
Adam YahnConsultantSumma StrategiesActiveSpecial AssistantIndustry Canada, Office of Minister of State (Science and Technology)(FedDev Southern Ontario) April 2010 to January 2011
Claire SmithConsultantSumma StrategiesActiveNo public offices held
John TurnbullConsultantCFN ConsultantsActiveDirector General Cyber Protection Branch Communications Security Establishment, IT Security January 2014 to March 2016 Not a designated officeDirector Crypto Material Systems and Services Communications Security Establishemnt, IT Security June 2011 to January 2014 Not a designated officeDirector General Military Support National Defence, Chief of Defence IntelligenceJuly 2008 to June 2011Not a designated officeCommander Canadian Forces Information Operations GroupNational Defence, Information Management Group July 2005 to July 2008 Not a designated officeDirector Land Command Support Program Management National Defence, Material Group May 2002 to July 2005 Not a designated office
Josie SabatinoConsultantSumma StrategiesActiveDirector of Communications House of Commons, Opposition Leader’s Office April 2021 to February 2022 Not a designated officePress Secretary House of Commons, Opposition Leader’s Office October 2017 to January 2019 Not a designated officeLegislative AssistantHouse of Commons, Member of Parliament November 2015 to October 2017 Not a designated officeSpecial Assistant, Issues Management and Parliamentary AffairsIndustry Canada, Minister’s office July 2013 to November 2015 November 4, 2015
Katlyn HarrisConsultantSumma StrategiesActiveNo public offices held
Kevin MacAdamConsultantTemple Scott Associates Inc.ActiveDirector General PEI Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency February 2011 to May 2014 Not a designated officeSenior Policy Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Office of the Minister February 2006 to January 2011 January 28, 2011
Scott MunochConsultantTemple Scott Associates Inc.ActiveAdvance Tour Manager and Tour Director Prime Minister’s Office, Tours and SchedulingFebruary 1989 to November 1993Not a designated officeExecutive Assistant Foreign Affairs Canada, Office of the Minister August 1988 to February 1989 Not a designated office
Sabrina GeremiaManaging DirectorGoogle Cloud CorporationActiveNo Public Offices Held
Utilia AmaralLobbyistGoogle LLCActiveNo public offices held

What does Google lobby about?

Google’s interests span across several different government branches and vary from the arts and culture sector to taxation and tourism. The subjects that are being lobbied for are as follows: Arts and Culture, Broadcasting, Climate, Economic Development, Elections, Environment, Financial Institutions, Government Procurement, Immigration, Industry, Infrastructure, Intellectual Property, International Relations, International Trade, Justice, and Law Enforcement, Media, National Security/Security, Privacy and Access to Information, Science and Technology, Small Business, Taxation and Finance, Telecommunications, Tourism.  

The contracts for CFN Consultants pertain to the lobbying for the National Defence (DND), Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), and Shared Services Canada (SSC) in an attempt to gather a government contract for utilizing cloud-based data management technologies. Meanwhile, Utilia Amaral, a consultant who works for Google LLC, has been lobbying Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), House of Commons, and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) for policies and programs pertaining to communicating with government officials about rebate programs for energy-efficient thermostats, including for Google/Nest smart thermostats. Summa Strategies was hired for legislative proposals, bills, and resolutions on Bill C-11, Bill C-18, and, more specifically, online content regulation. Sumana Strategies also pursues Copyright Act amendments related to user rights and intermediary liability, the Income Tax Act relating to a proposed ‘digital renovation tax credit’ for small and medium-sized businesses, and the expansion of section 19 to cover digital advertising. 

What government institutions does Google lobby in Canada? 

  1. National Defence (DND)
  2. Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC)
  3. Shared Services Canada (SSC)
  4. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
  5. Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)
  6. Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC)
  7. House of Commons
  8. Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)
  9. Canadian Heritage (PCH)
  10. Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)
  11. Competition Bureau Canada (COBU)
  12. Competition Tribunal (CT)
  13. Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)
  14. Finance Canada (FIN)
  15. Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
  16. House of Commons
  17. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED)
  18. Justice Canada (JC)
  19. Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC)
  20. Prime Minister’s Office (PMO)
  21. Privy Council Office (PCO)
  22. Public Safety Canada (PS)
  23. Senate of Canada
  24. Shared Services Canada (SSC)
  25. Treasury Board Of Canada Secretariat (TBS)