May 30, 2012 •
“Times Have Changed”
Ontario Integrity Commissioner Lynn Morrison has called for changes to the province’s Lobbyists Registration Act.
Commissioner Morrison, who is also the Lobbyist Registrar, recommends eliminating the “significant part of duties” threshold for registration of lobbyists. Currently, lobbyists must register only if they spend 20 percent or more of their time on lobbying activities. Ms. Morrison recommends all paid lobbyists register regardless of the time spent lobbying.
She also recommends the Lobbyists Registrar have the power to issue administrative monetary penalties and to introduce and require new categories of information reporting for lobbyists. Additionally, the commissioner recommends the different distinctions between the two types of in-house lobbyists be eliminated.
In an Office of the Integrity Commissioner press release, Commissioner Morrison said, “The registration system has worked well since it was introduced in 1999, but times have changed. The roles of lobbyists and public officials have evolved, making it even more important that a registry provide clear, accessible information on who is lobbying whom, and about what.”
Photo of the Toronto skyline by John Vetterli on Wikipedia.