Lobbyist Registrar 101
Are you a lobbyist? Did you know the City of Vaughan has a Lobbyist Registry? Do you know who Vaughan’s Lobbyist Registrar is? How about which types of lobbying activities need to be registered? The City of providing an overview of the role and responsibilities of the Lobbyist Registrar.
In December 2017, Vaughan Council passed By-law 165-2017 (PDF) to establish a lobbyist registry. This by-law includes definitions, exemptions and the Lobbyist Code of Conduct (PDF). To continue to effectively pursue Service Excellence in governance, Suzanne Craig was appointed as the City’s part-time Lobbyist Registrar in 2018. This office operates independently from the City, allowing Ms. Craig to make decisions and implement practices without bias or conflict of interest.
In her role as the City’s Lobbyist Registrar, Ms. Craig ensures any lobbying activities conducted in Vaughan exercise best practices and holds the public’s trust through inclusive, transparent and accountable communication.
Get to know more about the Lobbyist Registry, how to contact the office and more:
What is lobbying?
Lobbying is an important part of the governing process. It is any form of communication or contact (verbal, written or electronic) conducted by an individual who represents a business or financial interest with a public office holder (a Member of Council or City employee) who is trying to influence any legislative action (including development, introduction, passage, defeat, amendment or repeal) of a by-law, motion, resolution or outcome of a decision before it’s passed.
What is a Lobbyist Registry?
The Lobbyist Registry is a tool that provides accountability and transparency to lobbying activities by giving the public access to information about who is communicating with public office holders. The Lobbyist Registry Full Report can be viewed online.
What does the Lobbyist Registrar do?
A Lobbyist Registrar oversees the administration of the lobbyist registration system – a publicly accessible record of all lobbyists and lobbying activities. The Lobbyist Registrar also provides guidance, opinions and interpretation of the Lobbying By-Law through education and outreach to members of the public and City staff.
When should the Lobbyist Registrar be contacted?
Individuals or organizations looking to lobby a government official may contact the Lobbyist Registrar before any lobbying activity begins to receive clarification under the Lobbying By-law. The office can also be contacted if an individual believes a lobbyist has broken the Lobbyist Code of Conduct or the rules of the Lobbying By-law. Once a complaint is filed through this office, the Lobbyist Registrar will assess it to identify the appropriate action.
How can I tell if I’m a lobbyist?
Lobbyist can be found in many different roles. For example, a local business owner who meets with politicians to discuss industry regulation changes or a resident who represents a local community service organization who wants to have the City introduce a new program. If you’re unsure if you are a lobbyist, reference the Am I A Lobbyist? Flowchart (PDF) or take the online questionnaire.
Should my lobbying activity be registered?
Yes. As of January 2018, all lobbying activity in the city of Vaughan must be registered. For assistance with registering a lobbyist activity, email email@example.com.
Have more questions?
In addition to being the City’s Lobbyist Registrar, Suzanne Craig was also appointed as Vaughan’s Integrity Commissioner in February 2009. Learn more about this role at vaughan.ca/IntegrityCommissioner.