Lobbyist Registry

On March 27, 2023, City Council established a Lobbyist Registry for the City of Pickering through the approval of Report CLK 04-23 and By-law Number 8003/23. The Lobbyist Registry is an accountability and transparency tool that provides online access to the public to view lobbying activity between Lobbyists and Public Office Holders. The Registry emphasizes a culture of open, transparent and accountable government.

Click on the button below to search lobbying activity on the Lobbyist Registry:

Search the Lobbyist Registry

What is Lobbying?

"Lobby" or “Lobbying” means any communication with a Public Office Holder by an individual who is paid or who represents a business or financial interest with the goal of trying to influence any legislative action including development, introduction, passage, defeat, amendment or repeal of a by-law, motion, resolution or the outcome of a decision on any matter before Council, a Committee of Council, or a staff member acting under delegated authority.

Under By-law Number 8003/23, “communication” means any substantive form of communication including a formal meeting, email, letter, phone call or meaningful dialogue or exchange, that materially advances a matter that is defined as Lobbying, whether in a formal or an informal setting.

Who is a Lobbyist?

The City of Pickering’s Lobbyist Registry By-law identifies three types of Lobbyists:

Consultant Lobbyist - an individual who lobbies for payment on behalf of a client (another individual, a business, partnership, organization or other entity).

In-house Lobbyist - an individual who is an employee, partner or sole proprietor and who lobbies on behalf of his or her own employer, business or other entity.

Voluntary Lobbyist - an individual who lobbies without payment on behalf of an individual, business or any other entity for the benefit of the interests of the individual, business or entity.

Who is a Public Office Holder?

A Public Office Holder is:

  • A member of Council;
  • An officer or employee of the City in a management position or with decision making powers or who has direct contact with Council, a committee and/or local board;
  • A member of a local board or committee established by Council;
  • Employees who work on municipal elections in a supervisory role;
  • An Accountability Officer, including but not limited to the Integrity Commissioner, the Lobbyist Registrar, Ombudsman, and Closed Meeting Investigator;
  • Individuals providing professional services to the City during the course of providing such services.

Not sure if you are a lobbyist or need to register your lobbying activities? By answering a few yes or no questions using the below Lobbyist Flow Chart, you can determine whether you are a lobbyist or need to register your lobbying activities.

Lobbyist Flow Chart

How Do I Register?

Step 1: Read the Lobbyist Registry By-law and Lobbyist Code of Conduct

Step 2: Complete the online form to register as a lobbyist by clicking the button below.

Register as a Lobbyist

Note: The Lobbyist Registry By-Law requires that lobbyists record lobbying activity within 10 business days of the initial communication occurring.

Who enforces the Lobbyist Registry and what are the penalties for not disclosing lobbying activity?

In accordance with the Lobbyist Registry By-law and Section 223.11 of the Municipal Act, 2001, the City of Pickering’s Integrity Commissioner is the Lobbyist Registrar and will enforce the penalties under the By-law. 

Lobbyist Registrar's Contact Information
Jeffrey A. Abrams &
Janice Atwood-Petkovski
PrinciplesIntegrity
Telephone: 647.259.8697
Email: postoffice@principlesintegrity.org

The Lobbyist Registry By-law provided a six month penalty free period to provide an opportunity to educate both the public and lobbyists on the new process. In accordance with the By-law, the following penalties, as outlined in Section 9 of the By-law, will take effect on November 1, 2023:

The Registrar may impose a temporary ban on communication in accordance with the following scheme if the Registrar finds that the requirements of the By-law and Lobbyist Code of Conduct have not been met:

  1. for 30 days for a first contravention;
  2. for 60 days for a second contravention;
  3. for a period of time longer than 60 days as determined by the Lobbyist Registrar for a third or subsequent contravention.

If I believe lobbying activity has not been entered into the Lobbyist Registry, how do I file a complaint?

If you believe there has been a contravention to the Lobbyist Registry By-law, you can file a complaint by submitting a Complaint Form.

Notice of Collection 

Under the authority of the Municipal Act, 2001 and the City of Pickering’s Lobbyist Registry By-law Number 8003/23, personal information is collected for the purposes of administering the City of Pickering’s Lobbyist Registry. Questions about this collection should be directed to the City Clerk, One The Esplanade, Pickering, ON L1V 6K7, 905.420.4611.

Lobbyist Registry By-law and Lobbyist Code of Conduct 

View the Lobbyist Registry By-law and Lobbyist Code of Conduct

General FAQs 

1. Who does NOT need to register as a Lobbyist?

The following persons shall not be considered Lobbyists when acting in their public capacity:

  1. Government or public sector, other than the City:
    • Members of the Senate or House of Commons of Canada, the legislative assembly of a province, the council or legislative assembly of a territory, or persons on the staff of the members;
    • Members of a First Nation council as defined in the Indian Act or of the council of an Indian band established by an Act of the Parliament of Canada, or persons on the staff of the members;
    • Employees or consultants retained by the Government of Canada, the government of a province or territory, a First Nation council, a federal or provincial crown corporation or other federal or provincial public agency;
    • Members of a council or other statutory body, including a local board, charged with the administration of the civil or municipal affairs of a municipality in Canada other than the City, persons on staff of the members, or officers or employees of the municipality or local board;
    • Members of a national or sub-national foreign government, persons on the staff of the members, or officers, employees, diplomatic agents, consular officers or official representatives in Canada of the government.
  2. Officials and employees of the City and other municipal bodies:
    • Public Office Holders;
    • Members or employees of a local board of the City;
    • Appointed members of a committee established by Council.
  3. Other public sector:
    • Persons communicating on behalf of local school boards;
    • Persons communicating on behalf of healthcare institutions.

2. What activities are NOT lobbying?

  1. communication that occurs during a meeting of Council or a Committee of Council;
  2. communication that occurs during a public process such as a public meeting, hearing, consultation, open house or media event held or sponsored by the City or a Public Office Holder or related to an application;
  3. communication that is restricted to a request for information;
  4. communication that is restricted to compliments or complaints about a service or program;
  5. communication with a Public Office Holder by an individual on behalf of an individual, business or other entity about:
    • the enforcement, interpretation or application of any Act or by-law by the Public Office Holder and with respect to the individual, business or other entity;

    • the implementation or administration of any policy, program, directive or guideline by the Public Office Holder and with respect to the individual, business or other entity;

    • a personal matter of the individual, business or other entity unless it is communication that is in respect of a matter that falls under the definition of Lobbying, that is for the special benefit of the individual, business or other entity;

  6. communication by an applicant, an interested party or their representatives with respect to an application for a service, grant, planning approval, permit or other license or permission;
    • with a Public Office Holder if the communication is restricted to providing general information on an application, including a proposed or pending application, or to inquire about the application review process;

    • with an employee of the City if the communication is part of the normal course of the approval process;

    • with an employee of the City if the communication is with respect to planning or development applications and the officer or employee has a role in the processing of a planning or development application during the formal pre-application consultation, the filing of the application and the application review process, including the preparation of development agreements;

  7. submitting a bid proposal as part of the procurement process and any communication with designated employees of the City as permitted in the procurement policies and procurement documents of the City;
  8. communication with a Public Office Holder by an individual on behalf of an individual, business or other entity in direct response to a written request from the Public Office Holder;
  9. communication to a Public Office Holder by a constituent, or an individual on behalf of a constituent on a general neighbourhood or public policy issue;
  10. communication directly related to those City-initiated consultative meetings and processes where an individual is participating as a stakeholder;
  11. communication for or against a policy or program that states a position where the primary focus is a broad community benefit or detriment, whether City-wide or local, and where that position would have no direct, indirect or perceived benefit to a business or financial interest of the individual, business or other entity on whose behalf the communication is undertaken.

In accordance with Section 4.2 of By-law Number 8003/23, the Lobbyist Registrar may exempt Lobbying from some or all the requirements of the Lobbyist Registry By-law if they are satisfied in advance by a Lobbyist that Registration could reasonably be expected to prejudice the economic interests of the City of Pickering or the competitive position of the City of Pickering.

3.  Who enforces the Lobbyist Registry and what are the penalties for not disclosing lobbying activity?

In accordance with the Lobbyist Registry By-law and Section 223.11 of the Municipal Act, 2001, the City of Pickering’s Integrity Commissioner is the Lobbyist Registrar and will enforce the penalties under the By-law.

The Registrar may impose a temporary ban on communication in accordance with the following scheme if the Registrar finds that the requirements of the By-law and Lobbyist Code of Conduct have not been met:

  1. for 30 days for a first contravention;
  2. for 60 days for a second contravention;
  3. for a period of time longer than 60 days as determined by the Lobbyist Registrar for a third or subsequent contravention.

4. If I believe lobbying activity has not been entered into the Lobbyist Registry, how do I file a complaint?

If you believe there has been a contravention to the Lobbyist Registry By-law, you can file a complaint by submitting a Complaint Form.

FAQs for Lobbyists 

1.    How do I use the Lobbyist Registry?

Once you have read the Lobbyist Registry By-law and the Lobbyist Code of Conduct, you will need to create an account with a username and password. To get started, click here to access the Lobbyist Registry and follow the below steps:

  1. Click 'Register'.
  2. Select 'I am a lobbyist' and click 'Continue'.
  3. You will now need to enter your name, email address, and create a password and click 'Submit'. 
  4. You will see a 'Lobbyist Registry - Registration' window. Click 'Return to login page'.
  5. Enter your email address and password and click 'Log in'.
  6. Check your email account for a verification code. Enter the verification code and click 'Verify' to complete the account set up.

Once the account set up is complete, you will need to create a profile(s) to define the category of lobbyist that you fall under, and acknowledge that you have read and agree to abide to the Lobbyist Registry By-law and the Lobbyist Code of Conduct. Once the profile set up is complete, you can begin to enter your lobbying activities.

Click here for a detailed step by step guide on creating an account and declaring lobbying activity. 

2.    Can I register as more than one type of lobbyist?

Yes, you can register as more than one type of lobbyist, however, you will need to create a separate profile for each type.

3.    What if my lobbying subject matter does not fall under one of the lobbying topic categories?

The pick list of lobbying topic categories is only a sample of some of the topics a Public Office Holder may be lobbied on. If your lobbying subject matter does not fall within one of the drop-down selection options under ‘Topic Categories’, select ‘Add New’ and manually enter the subject matter details.

4.    Do I need to register as a lobbyist before I contact a public office holder?

You must register your lobbying activity within 10 days of the initial lobbying communication occurring. The registration could be completed before or after the lobbying activity occurs.

5.    Does my lobbying activity registration have a time limit or expiration date?

If Lobbying continues for more than one year, a Lobbyist must file a new Registration for each year the Lobbying continues.

6.    If I make an error in my entry on the registry, how can I fix it?

After a submission is entered to the Lobbyist Registry, edits can be made to the submission by logging into your account. The revision history will be publicly available on the Lobbyist Registry.

7.    Do I need to pay to register?

No, the Lobbyist Registry is free to use and access.

8.    A Member of Council has requested information from me. Do I have to register this as lobbying?

If a Member of Council has approached you and is seeking information from you, you do not have to register the communication on the Lobbyist Registry.

9.    The City has invited me to participate in a stakeholder relations session. Do I have to register this meeting?

No, any communication surrounding your role as a stakeholder is not considering lobbying and does not need to be registered.

Resources

Lobbyist Registry By-law and the Lobbyist Code of Conduct

Am I a Lobbyist Flowchart

Lobbyist Registry - A Guide for Lobbyists on Registration

Lobbyist Registry - A Guide for Public Office Holders

Presentation from Janice Atwood-Petkovsky, Integrity Commissioner for the City of Pickering - Special Council Meeting Monday, June 26, 2023