Our Approach to Advocacy and Political Engagement



Fortis believes it is important to participate in the public policy process. We advocate for our customers, employees, investors and the communities we serve. We also support organizations that undertake advocacy. This engagement helps ensure informed and balanced public policy discussion.

Supporting the democratic process is also important. We contribute to political parties, candidates and other political entities, as permitted by law. In doing so, we are guided by our values and ethical standards. We are committed to transparency whether we participate directly or through trade associations or other organizations that engage in political activities.

We manage advocacy and political engagement consistent with our Fortis business model. Our utilities operate with substantial local autonomy, and directly oversee lobbying and political finance activities. Laws and local political environments vary across the Fortis organization, as our utilities operate in many jurisdictions in Canada, the United States and the Caribbean.

Governance Framework and Oversight

Our political activities are governed by our Political Engagement Policy. This policy, and our governance framework and sustainability program, is overseen by our Board of Directors’ Governance and Sustainability Committee (the “GSC”), composed entirely of independent directors. 

Management is responsible for oversight of contributions to political entities, trade associations and other organizations that may engage in political activities for material alignment with our policies and values. Fortis management reports to the GSC annually on such contributions, any misalignments with our values, and responsive actions taken.  See “Actions taken in 2022 due to potential misalignments” below.

Under our compliance model, local utility management is responsible for implementing policy frameworks that are substantially consistent with Fortis policies, including the Political Engagement Policy.

Advocacy Objectives

Fortis and its utilities support organizations that advocate on a variety of subjects, ranging from national trade associations to small community groups. While advocacy and lobbying are core activities for some of these organizations, others only have infrequent and casual involvement. Generally, the objectives of these activities are to advance the interests of the utility sector and the communities we serve. When contributing to organizations that may engage in lobbying, we seek to ensure alignment with our corporate values and policies, including acting ethically, with honesty and integrity, and supporting the clean energy transition and our local communities. Fortis does not knowingly support any organizations whose views are inconsistent with our values and policies.  

As part of the utility sector, Fortis has an important role in decarbonization. We have established a corporate net-zero direct emissions target by 2050, with incremental direct emission reduction goals of 50% and 75% by 2030 and 2035, respectively, compared to 2019 levels. We are committed to supporting the transition to cleaner energy, taking action to combat climate change and maintaining resilient infrastructure. As the energy transition unfolds, customer affordability and system reliability will remain key pillars of our values and long-term business strategy.


2022 Advocacy and Political Engagement Disclosure

The following section details 2022 contributions by the Fortis group of companies to:

  1. Political candidates, parties and organizations;
  2. Trade associations in the energy and utility sector;
  3. Other tax-exempt organizations that may conduct lobbying or public policy-related activities; and
  4. 501(c)4 organizations in the United States.

All contribution amounts are expressed in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated.     

Lobbying by in-house lobbyists or paid third-party lobbyists is disclosed on public websites, as required by law. Federal lobbying activities in the United States are disclosed at http://lobbyingdisclosure.house.gov/ and in Canada at http://lobbycanada.gc.ca/. Separate lobbyist registration and reporting requirements exist at the state and provincial level.

Political Contributions

Under our operating model, Fortis and each utility oversees its own political spending. Fortis Inc. only makes political contributions in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, where it is headquartered.

Some jurisdictions restrict corporate political contributions, such as at the federal level in Canada and the United States. Four Canadian provinces where our subsidiaries operate also prohibit corporate political contributions: British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Prince Edward Island.

In 2022, Fortis and its subsidiaries made corporate contributions of C$500 or more to political candidates, parties and organizations as indicated here.

Two Fortis subsidiaries, UNS Energy and ITC Holdings, also operate voluntary, employee-run Political Action Committees (“PACs”). In 2022, eligible employees in the UNS Energy Corporation PAC and ITC Holdings Corp. PAC contributed approximately US$24,512 and US$165,916 respectively to candidates, campaigns and committees at the state and federal levels. Contributions by these PACs are disclosed on the Federal Election Commission website at http://www.fec.gov/.

Trade Associations

We participate in trade associations that are relevant to our business. We define “trade association” as a non-profit organization founded and funded to advance members’ common business interests in the energy and utility sectors.  Trade associations advocate for our industry and educate key stakeholders, including regulators and legislators.

In 2022, Fortis and its subsidiaries made contributions of C$10,000 or more to trade associations in the energy and utility sectors as indicated here. Where a portion of contributions is attributed to political activities and therefore non-deductible under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, this is indicated.

Other Tax-Exempt Organizations that May Conduct Lobbying or Public Policy-Related Activity

Fortis and its subsidiaries support other tax-exempt organizations that may advocate on policy issues of relevance to our industry or social significance. A list of tax-exempt organizations which may conduct lobbying or public policy-related activity to which we contributed C$10,000 or more in 2022 is provided here. Where a portion of contributions is attributed to political activities and therefore non-deductible under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, this is indicated.

501(C)4 Organizations in the United States

Entities formed under section 501(c)4 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code may participate in some political activities, so long as it is not their primary activity. Such organizations must not be organized for profit and must be operated exclusively to promote social welfare. In 2022, Fortis subsidiaries in the U.S. made contributions to 501(c)4 organizations as detailed here.

Actions Taken in 2022 due to Potential Misalignments

Under our Political Engagement Policy, we disclose any findings of material misalignment between the policy-related lobbying activities of those entities to which we contribute and our corporate values and policies, and steps we have taken as a result of such findings.

In 2022, there were no such findings.

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