The City of Toronto has recently introduced a by-law which
is aimed at the regulation of "lobbyists" who deal
with the City and its many related agencies and departments.
Any corporations that do business or individuals who serve on
Boards of organizations that do business with the City of
Toronto should be aware of the registration and disclosure
Lobbying is very broadly defined in the new by-law and
includes most communications with "Public Office
Holders" on most topics. Like the federal and provincial ,
the City's by-law defines "Public Office
Holders" as elected officials as well as all staff
members. Included in the definition in the City of Toronto
By-law are board members and staff of such organizations as the
Toronto Transit Commission.
Communications relating to permits, licenses, property
matters, commercial arrangements, procurement and awarding of
"financial benefits" are all captured in the
City's new by-law.
The legislation provides for "in house lobbyists"
which include employees of a business and "consultant
lobbyists" which include people who are hired to
"lobby". It also likely captures corporate and not
for profit Board members who may communicate with the City on
behalf of their Board.
Bearing in mind that lobbying and communicating are
virtually one and the same in the by-law, it is likely that the
by-law applies to many, many individuals who may not have
traditionally considered themselves "lobbyists".
The City of Toronto By-law requires that lobbyists register.
As with the federal and provincial registration systems, there
is a very strong direction that the registration be done
on-line, although paper registration is also permitted. The
information disclosed in the lobbyist registration forms is
Fines for lobbying without properly registering start at
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advice and should not be relied on in that way. Specific advice
should be sought about your specific circumstances.
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Russell v. Township of Georgian Bay provides a useful reminder of the fact that while municipal officials sometimes appear to hold all of the cards in disputes with home owners, that is not always the case.
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