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. 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 generally, is overseen by our Board of Directors’ Governance and Sustainability Committee (the “GSC”), composed entirely of independent directors.

Fortis management annually reviews contributions to political entities, trade associations and other organizations that engage in political activities for material misalignments with our policies and values. Management reports to the GSC on any such misalignments and responsive actions taken.

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

2020 Advocacy and Political Engagement Disclosure

The following section details 2020 contributions by the Fortis group of companies to:

  1. Political candidates, parties and organizations;
  2. Trade associations, including any portion of contributions designated as being used for political purposes;
  3. Other tax-exempt organizations that lobby or conduct public policy-related activities; and
  4. 501(c)4 organizations in the United States.

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 subsidiary oversees their 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 2020, 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 (“PAC”). In 2020, eligible employees in the UNS Energy Corporation PAC and ITC Holdings Corp. PAC contributed approximately US$19,250 and US$232,250 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. Trade associations advocate for our industry and educate key stakeholders, including regulators and legislators.

In 2020, Fortis and its subsidiaries made contributions of C$10,000 or more to trade associations 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 Conduct Lobbying and 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 engage in lobbying or political activity to which we contributed C$10,000 or more in 2020 is provided here.

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 2020, Fortis subsidiaries in the U.S. made contributions to 501(c)4 organizations as detailed here.

Actions Taken in 2020 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 2020, UNS Energy withdrew from membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council due to the potential for misalignment with our corporate values and policies.

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