Information & Resources for Lobbyist Registration in Ontario

Issue 5

June 2019


When you are looking for resources to help you understand the Lobbyists Registration Act, 1998 take a look at the Interpretation Bulletins issued by the Integrity Commissioner.

The IBs cover many important and useful topics:

  • Determining who is a public office holder

  • The registration threshold for in-house lobbyists

  • The registration threshold for consultant lobbyists

  • Determining government funding

  • Registering grassroots lobbying

  • The publicly funded lobbyists restriction under the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act, 2010

                    …and more!                                 Read IBs



"The Registrar requires more information in the following sections..."

All registrations submitted to the Office receive a careful preliminary review by Inquiries Officers, who make sure that a lobbyist has provided all of the information required by the Act before it can be published by the Lobbyists Registrar.

Approximately 34 per cent of registrations are refused because the information submitted is incomplete or out of date. The most common reason for refusal is the need for a more complete description of the lobbying activity.

If you receive a request for more information, an Inquiries Officer will give you a deadline to provide it and may reset the registration to draft so that you or your delegated primary contact can update it. This could mean you aren’t registered, so it’s important to update the information promptly and resubmit the registration.

The best practice is to carefully review your registration before you submit it. Have you completed all of the applicable fields? Is the description of the lobbying activity complete and an accurate reflection of the work you will be doing? Have you identified all of the lobbying targets?

Read more about completing the Lobbying Activity section of your registration.

A careful review at the front-end of the process will speed up the review of your registration in the Office, and will help reduce the number of email requests you receive.


Timelines are the most common compliance issue for lobbyists.

Here's a quick breakdown...

Consultant lobbyists must:

  • Register within 10 days of their first communication with a public office holder on behalf of a client

  • Update their registration within 30 days of a change to any existing content or if new information is acquired

  • Renew their registration once a year (60 day renewal window)

  • Terminate within 30 days from the end of their lobbying undertaking


Senior officers of companies or organizations employing in-house lobbyists must:

  • Register their entity within two months of their in-house lobbyists meeting the 50-hour a year lobbying threshold

  • Update their registration within 30 days of a change to any existing content or if new information is acquired (including adding the names of new in-house lobbyists who begin contributing to the 50-hour a year lobbying threshold)

  • Renew their registration every six months (60 day renewal window)

  • Remove the name(s) of former lobbyists within 30 days and add those name(s) to the 'Former In-house Lobbyist' list on the registration form


What happens when a ministry's name changes?

Sometimes a ministry or agency name will change along with its responsibilities or mandate. It is the responsibility of each lobbyist to ensure their lobbying targets are accurate. When the name of a lobbying target changes, lobbyists are required to update their registrations.

Recently, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services changed to the Ministry of the Solicitor General. Lobbyists who selected MCSCS as a lobbying target must update their registrations and select the new ministry name, as this does not happen automatically.

Lobbyists are encouraged to update their registrations promptly when ministry or agency names change because the old target names will eventually disappear from the registry, leading to an incomplete and/or inaccurate registration.



Keep an eye out for our annual report, which will have information about our work, registry statistics and information about compliance and investigation activities.

Read previous reports.

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