ON Lobbying - a newsletter

Information & Resources for Lobbyist Registration in Ontario

Issue 17

June 2021

Stay in the know.

The next provincial election is one year away. If you are planning to become involved in a campaign, now is the time to learn how that involvement could affect your current – and future – lobbying activities. This includes being a campaign manager, serving on a senior party committee, or advising a candidate – among many other activities.

Check out Interpretation Bulletin #11, which outlines the provisions in the Lobbyists Registration Act that prevent a lobbyist from placing a public office holder in an actual or potential conflict of interest.

Put simply, there is a possibility that your involvement in a campaign could restrict your future lobbying activity. The best way to ensure that this does not happen is to contact the Office and request an Advisory Opinion from the Commissioner.

When requesting an Advisory Opinion, you will need to provide information on your proposed political activity – job title, responsibilities, scope, and for which party and/or specific candidates. The Commissioner will then provide you with a written opinion explaining what impact this might have on your current lobbying activity, as well as on any activities you might undertake in the future.

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Who's the Boss?

Our Office frequently receives questions from in-house lobbyists about a unique requirement in Ontario: the registration must be under the name of the most senior officer – for example, the president or chief executive officer. This applies even if that person does not personally lobby.

When our Inquiries Officers receive new applications from organizations and companies, they will always confirm that the person who is named in the registration is the most senior officer. We frequently receive submissions from lobbyists who tell us that they are “a Senior Officer”.

That does not meet the requirements of the Act, however. All registrations must be in the name of the most senior officer.

There is a spot in the registration to list the names of all employees who are lobbying. If the Senior Officer also lobbies, then his or her name should also be listed here.

Don’t forget: when someone with lobbying responsibilities joins the company or organization or when an existing employee does any lobbying, their name should be added to the registration within 30 days of when they contribute to the lobbying initiatives.

When should an employee’s name be removed from the list? This must be done within 30 days of an employee:

  1. Leaving the company or organization, or
  2. Taking a new role that won’t include lobbying.

When an employee’s name is removed from the list of active lobbyists, it must be moved into the section listing former lobbyists. The name should remain there for six months, after which it can be removed altogether.


Speaking of Senior Officers...what happens when the boss leaves? How do you change the name of the Senior Officer in your registration?

This change can be made through the “Change Name of Senior Officer” option on the main page menu which is accessible only through the existing Senior Officer’s account.

You will be walked through the process of making the change, including amending the account profile with the new Senior Officer’s contact information. Please note that the change will not be immediate.

The Office will process the request and then the new Senior Officer will be sent an email with instructions to complete the certification process. After this step, the new Senior Officer will receive login information and instructions by email.

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

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