Burlington, Ontario’s New Lobbyist Registry Bylaw Comes into effect January 1 - State and Federal Communications

December 12, 2023  •  

Burlington, Ontario’s New Lobbyist Registry Bylaw Comes into effect January 1

Burlington, Ontario City Hall - The Fwanksta, Public domain

On January 1, the city of Burlington, Ontario’s new lobbyist registry bylaw comes into effect.

The law effectively replaces the city’s Lobbyist Registration Policy, which passed on October 19, 2021, and came into effect January of 2022.

As noted in the city of Burlington’s December 12 press release, the new a bylaw approved by City Council on July 11, 2023, includes:

  • A move from volunteer to mandatory registration of applicable lobbying activities. All lobbyists must file a registration for each matter they intend to lobby prior to the lobbying, or within fifteen days of the initial communication;
  • An expanded definition of lobbying communication that includes a formal meeting, email, letter, phone call or meaningful dialogue or exchange that materially advances a matter that is defined as lobbying, whether in a formal or an informal setting;
  • The addition of the Burlington Leadership Team as a part of the lobbyist registry, along with the city council, as public office holders;
  • The appointment of the city clerk as the Lobbyist Registrar to centralize and improve efficiency of registry administration;
  • Limited enforcement of the bylaw: Where a person has contravened any of the provisions in the bylaw, they will be prohibited from lobbying activities until an information and education meeting with the Lobbyist Registrar is held. For a second offense, lobbying activities will be prohibited for 60 days.

While the city’s current registry is presently available online, new registration forms and webpage updates will be made to reflect the bylaw once it takes effect in January 2024.

“The new Lobbyist Registry bylaw will help ensure greater transparency in the local government decision-making process,” said Deputy Clerk Kevin Klingenberg in the press release.

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