Make your lobbying activity clear!

Under the Lobbyists Registration Act, 1998, all lobbyists in Ontario must provide a complete description of their lobbying goals in their registration(s).

Your described lobbying activities must be clear and contain enough detail so the public can clearly identify and understand your lobbying goals. The lobbying activity section of the registration form has seven activity categories for consultant lobbyists and six activity categories for in-house lobbyists.

You can select multiple categories, but you must choose at least one:

  • Legislative proposal – choose if a bill hasn’t been drafted or introduced

  • Bill or resolution – choose if a bill is before the Legislative Assembly

  • Regulation – choose if you are looking to change or create a new regulation under an Act

  • Policy and/or program – choose if you are looking to change or create a new policy or program or this can be a catch-all category if the other activity categories do not apply (e.g., a consultant lobbyist arranging a meeting between their client and an Ontario public office holder)

  • Decision to privatize or outsource goods or services

  • Grant and/or contribution and/or other financial benefit

  • Awarding of contract – this option is only applicable to consultant lobbyists, and it includes lobbying activity about procurement

Ensure that you select the most accurate category that best describes the lobbying activity and goal. Each option on the form has a green question mark or tooltip that, when hovered over, provides additional information about the category. If you have questions about the categories and where your lobbying activity fits, please contact the Office.

Remember, any changes to your existing lobbying activities and targets in your registration must be reviewed and updated within 30 calendar days. You can do this by filing a notice of change.

If the registration requires more information or clarification, Office staff will follow up with the lobbyist or senior officer.

To learn more, visit our Lobbying Activity page.

Lobbying Activity

Is COVID still a subject matter of your lobbying?

When the Office added COVID-19/pandemic response as a subject-matter option to the registry in the spring of 2020, it quickly became one of the top selected subject-matters.

Registry statistics now show that this topic is less popular. Since the Lobbyists Registration Act, 1998 requires lobbyists to keep their registration(s) up to date, you should review your activity to see if COVID-19/pandemic response should still be listed as a subject-matter, and remove it if it isn’t.

And while you’re at it, why not look at the rest of your registration to see what else should be updated. Not sure how? We’ve got a short tutorial video for that.

Pass the Cake!

Ontario’s Lobbyists Registry hit a milestone last month! The registry was launched on January 15, 1999, and is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

The registry has gone through a few upgrades since 1999, but the registry still contains data from its early days. It’s a true time capsule of Ontario public policy that anyone can explore.

A lot of things have changed since the launch of the registry. For example, the population of Ontario was 11.5 million in 1999 and it’s now estimated to be 15.8 million. The registry has also grown – the first annual report on the registry recorded 684 active registrations and today we’re at 3,580 active registrations. The report also indicated there were 361 active lobbyists and now we’re at 3,445.

That made us wonder…what else was going on in the winter of 1999?

Shakespeare in Love won Best Picture at the Oscars. How many of the plots of Shakespeare’s plays include “communicating with a public office holder in an attempt to influence?”

The Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl, with Gloria Estefan, Stevie Wonder and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy performing the halftime show. If you remember Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, you might remember faxing Lobbyist Registration User Agreements to the Office.

“It’s All Been Done” by the Barenaked Ladies was the top single in Canada when the registry launched. Is that what some lobbyists sing to themselves when they complete their annual renewal?

Bucket hats were a big fashion trend…and now they’re back. (Maybe some things haven’t changed.)

Happy 25th to Ontario’s Lobbyists Registry and thanks to all of you who keep it up to date!