ON Lobbying - a newsletter

Information & Resources for Lobbyist Registration in Ontario

Issue 19

October 2021

With the provincial election taking place in less than eight months, the Integrity Commissioner, as Lobbyist Registrar, has updated the Guidance for Lobbyists on Political Activity. This is a minor update to the 2018 Guidance to make it in line with Interpretation Bulletin #11 “What is a conflict of interest and how does it affect my lobbying?”

Lobbyists who plan to take part in political activity leading up to the provincial election should be aware that doing so may have an impact on their compliance with the conflict of interest prohibition in the Lobbyists Registration Act, 1998 as it relates to lobbying public office holders in the future.

Lobbyists should review the Guidance and Interpretation Bulletin carefully and seek an Advisory Opinion to obtain advice from the Commissioner on their specific situation.

Political Activity Guidance


When to add, when to move, when to remove in-house lobbyists

When a business or organization registers its lobbying activity in Ontario, the registration must list the names of all employees whose lobbying activity contributes to the 50-hour registration threshold. The in-house lobbyist registrations also list the names of all employees who have ceased their lobbying activities or are no longer employed by the company or organization. We understand that it can be a significant job to stay on top of these lists.


When someone joins the company or organization, and they are a paid employee, officer or director whose duties will include lobbying, their name must be added to the “Current In-house Lobbyists” list on the registration within 30 calendar days of their first lobbying activity.


When an employee, officer or director is no longer lobbying or when they leave a company or organization, their name must be removed from the “Current In-house Lobbyists” list and moved to the “Former In-house Lobbyists” list. This also must be done within 30 calendar days of the change.

But how long should the names of former in-house lobbyists remain on the registration?


The Integrity Commissioner, as Registrar, has directed that a former in-house lobbyist’s name should remain on the registration until the next renewal. If the former in-house lobbyist’s name has been there for six months or longer, they can be removed.

We recommend that in-house senior officers or those who manage their registrations review the “Current In-house Lobbyists” and the “Former In-house Lobbyists” lists regularly to see if there are any names that must be added, moved or removed from these lists. Updates to these lists can be done by filing a change to the registration.

If you are uncertain about whether an in-house lobbyist’s name should be added, moved or removed from these lists, please contact the Office for guidance.


Public Affairs Association of Canada

Integrity Commissioner J. David Wake was pleased to join the federal Commissioner of Lobbying Nancy Belanger and City of Toronto Lobbyist Registrar Cristina Di Caprio for a Lobbying Compliance and Registration webinar hosted on September 22, 2021 by the Ontario chapter of the Public Affairs Association of Canada.

Commissioner Wake provided an update on lobbying activity in Ontario as well as revised resources including the Guidance for Lobbyists on Political Activity. He also spoke of his priorities regarding the legislative review of the Lobbyists Registration Act, 1998. These were outlined in Issue 18 of ONLobbying.

Lobbyist Registrars and Commissioners Network

In late September, the Lobbyists Registrars and Commissioners Network held its second remote conference to share updates and discuss emerging issues about lobbyist registration in their jurisdictions.

Even when held in a virtual environment, the opportunity to meet with our federal, provincial, and municipal counterparts is beneficial. 

During the conference, representatives from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development presented on their recently released report “Lobbying in the 21st Century”. The presentation provided important insights on how lobbying regulation in Canada compares to other OECD member countries.

Commissioner Wake thanks Registrar Michael McEvoy and the Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists in British Columbia for organizing the conference.

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

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