Lobbyists, Like Hunters, Now Forced to Register
City Council has been taking some bold steps. The latest being the new mandatory registration for City Council Lobbyists.
This marks the first time any Canadian municipality has instituted such a rule.
And its about time.
This city is a big machine, with lots of small cracks for dollars and support to slip through. Recall the fun that was the MFP Computer Leasing Inquiry.
Tens of millions of dollars gone over a few diners and some back-room handshakes.
Under the new rules, anyone paid to lobby the city government on behalf of any special interest group, business or otherwise, must be registered. That way, all dealings become a matter of public record, and public scrutiny.
Is the Mayor final taking out his broom?
Don't get me wrong, not all lobbying groups are bad. Groups like the Canadian Federation of Students, or the one I used to work for (the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance) are also considered Lobbyists - as they try to influence change on behalf of a special interest group.
The new regs also mean that unions will also have to disclose any lobbying they do, but matters related to contract negotiations will be exempt.
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