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City Seeks Public Input on Lobbyist Controls


I wonder if this was sparked by the many groups disrupting city council with their booing in the past, but it looks like the city is asking for public submissions in developing an effective and comprehensive framework to control lobbying activities.

In a press release issued this morning, it notes the framework will help achieve the City's goals of "open, accessible, ethical and accountable government that has the trust and respect of the people of Toronto."

One of the key recommendations from the Bellamy Inquiry was that the city should treat lobbying as a potentially helpful practice that should be carefully controlled. In addition, the proposed new City of Toronto Act specifically requires the City to establish a lobbyist registry.

"Clarifying the relationship between lobbyists and the City, and enhancing mechanisms to control lobbying will help to ensure the city's decision making processes are open, accountable and rules are applied consistently," said Mayor David Miller. "The new City of Toronto Act recognizes Toronto as a mature order of government that needs to formalize and regulate the influence lobbyists have on our decision-making processes."

To help guide written submissions or presentations, the city has developed the discussion paper: Towards a Lobbyist Control Framework for the City of Toronto. "The framework will provide clear direction on when and how lobbyists are registered, the types of communications that must be reported, the provisions and standards of a code of conduct, as well as monitoring and enforcement activities," said Bellamy Recommendations Steering Committee Chair Councillor Adam Giambrone.

"That's why it's vital that the City receives as much feedback as possible from the public in order to ensure the framework is an effective and comprehensive public resource."

Interested parties are invited to submit comments in writing by June 30 to:
Lobbyist Control framework Consultations
c/o City Manager's Office,
10th Floor, East Tower, Toronto City Hall,
100 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON, M5H 2N2 (govto@toronto.ca)

In addition, presentations can be made before the Bellamy Recommendations Implementation Steering Committee on June 12 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Committee Room 2 or June 15 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Committee Room 1. For more information, check out the city's Web site.

Photo by Toronto Independent Media Centre


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