ON Lobbying - a newsletter

Information & Resources for Lobbyist Registration in Ontario

Issue 11

June 2020

Although our physical office is closed, Ontario's Lobbyist Registry operations continue without interruption. This is a busy time for public interactions with Ontario elected officials as well as ministry and agency employees, and although Office staff are working remotely, they are ensuring that registrations are processed and published to the registry in a timely manner.

We are available to answer your questions about the registration process, as well as receive requests for Advisory Opinions under the Lobbyists Registration Act, 1998.

The best way to contact us is by email: lobbyist.mail@oico.on.ca

We hope you are staying safe and healthy.


Lobbyists Registrar Issues A New Interpretation Bulletin

The Integrity Commissioner, as Lobbyists Registrar, has issued an Interpretation Bulletin on how a conflict of interest may affect your lobbying.

Read new bulletin

The bulletin explains how a conflict of interest can occur when someone has competing interests or loyalties, and how this could have an impact on a public office holder’s own obligation to always act in the public interest.

The Lobbyists Registration Act, 1998 requires lobbyists to not place a public office holder in a real or potential conflict of interest, and the bulletin provides helpful examples that lobbyists should carefully consider. These include circumstances where they may wish to offer a gift to a public office holder, or where they have a personal relationship or have done political work for or with a public office holder.

Pro Tip: As always, if you have a question about conflict of interest – or about any other provisions in the Act – it’s always best to request an Advisory Opinion from the Registrar. Advisory Opinions are tailored to the specific circumstances of a lobbyist’s activity.

You can see all the Registrar's Interpretation Bulletins on our website.


How to Ace Your Registration Renewal

Submitting timely and accurate registration renewals is a key obligation for consultant lobbyists and senior officers of entities.

But what does that mean?

Here are some answers to common questions about renewing a registration.

When do I need to renew?

Consultant lobbyists who are continuing to lobby for their client must renew their registration once a year. You have a 60-day window to renew, which begins 30 days before and ends 30 days after the anniversary of your initial registration.

Senior officers of companies or not-for-profits must renew their registration every six months, using the anniversary of the initial registration to calculate the twice-yearly renewal dates. The 60-day window for renewing begins 30 days before and ends 30 days after the six-month renewal date.

The Office sends an automatic email reminder at the start of the 60-day window and additional reminders towards the end of the window.

How do I renew?

To renew a registration, login to your account and select the “Renew a registration” option. This is the only way to renew a registration and you can use it only during the renewal window.

Pro Tip: Selecting “Make a change to my registration”, even during the renewal window, will not renew your registration.

What should I look out for when renewing?

The main goal is to confirm that all the information in your registration is up-to-date and accurate. You should view a renewal as an opportunity to check your compliance with the requirements of the Lobbyists Registration Act.

When renewing, you should review the information in every section of the registration. For example, check the following for all registrations:

  • Government funding – Has the amount changed? Is there new funding from another level of government or provincial ministry? See our revised Interpretation Bulletin on reporting government funding to understand your obligations.
  • Subject-matter – Are you lobbying about a new subject or have you stopped lobbying about a subject? Review the list and add or remove subjects as needed.
  • Lobbying activity – If you have achieved a lobbying goal, you need to remove it from your activity. If the Bill you’ve been supporting has passed and you’re now lobbying about its Regulations, your lobbying activity needs to move to the appropriate category. You must also add all new lobbying goals. See our resource about Lobbying Activity.
  • Lobbying targets – MPPs join and leave legislative committees, ministers’ responsibilities change, as do names of ministries. New agencies are created. Review all the target lists to ensure the right boxes are ticked and nothing has been missed.
  • Communication techniques – Do they match the ways you are communicating? If you’re holding a lobby day, you can add this in the ‘Other’ section.

Consultant lobbyists should check:

  • Client information – Does your client have a new address or phone number? If the client’s name has changed, please contact the Office for further direction as a new registration may be required.
  • Broader Public Sector Accountability Act – If your client is a broader public sector organization or receives $10 million or more a year in provincial funding, you must submit an updated attestation form. This Interpretation Bulletin about BPSAA explains your obligations.

In-house lobbyists or senior officers should check:

  • Lobbying employees – Who in your company or organization is lobbying? Who has joined and who has left? Check the list of current and former lobbyists carefully. Provide the date(s) that they began contributing to the 50-hour a year lobbying threshold and the date(s) that they ceased lobbying. Pro Tip: Names that were added to the “Former in-house lobbyists” list at the last renewal can be removed in the current renewal.
  • Officers and board members (Not-for-profit organizations only) – Are the names of the officers or board directors accurate?

Reviewing your registration carefully will ensure a smooth renewal process and may avoid the Office having to contacting you for more information.

Final Pro Tip: Check out the registration checklists on our website for help filling out initial registrations and ensuring your renewal is ready to go.

Checklist for Consultant Lobbyists

Checklist for In-House Lobbyist Organizations (Not-For-Profits)

Checklist for In-House Lobbyist Persons & Partnerships (Companies)

Want more resources? Go to www.oico.on.ca/home/lobbyists-registration

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