About the Registry
The Lobbyist Registry came into effect in January 20, 2020 and forms part of the Town of Collingwood’s Accountability and Transparency framework. It is an online tool that documents instances of substantive communication, such as telephone calls, meetings, or e-mails between those who lobby and Members of Town Council or Town staff in a centralized database that is easy to access and search by the public and interested stakeholders.
Why should I register?
Lobbying is a legitimate activity that benefits not only lobbyists, but public office holders and members of the public as well. The benefits of lobbying conversations are lost, however, when they take place exclusively behind closed doors. As such, the Lobbyist Registry was adopted to enhance accountability and transparency in local government by providing public access to the elements of the business conducted at the Town of Collingwood.
Who should register?
Anyone who engages in lobbying as defined in the Lobbyist Registry By-Law must register. The Town of Collingwood recognizes three types of lobbyists:
- In-House Lobbyists: Individuals who are paid employees, partners, or sole proprietors of an organization and who lobby on its behalf
- Consultant Lobbyists: Individuals who lobby for payment on behalf of a client (another individual, company, partnership, or organization)
- Voluntary Unpaid Lobbyists: Individuals who lobby without payment on behalf of a business or for-profit entity for the benefit of the interests of the for-profit entity or organization
Not sure if you are a lobbyist or need to register your lobbying activities? By answering a few yes or no questions you can determine whether or not you are a lobbyist or are lobbying, and should register your activities.
Download a copy of the Am I a Lobbyist Flowchart (PDF).
What should I register?
The Lobbyist Registry was designed to capture instances of unsolicited communication to influence a matter before public office holders, initiated by individuals seeking to substantively advance a business and/or financial interest outside of the Town's normal business processes. Any attempt to engage in lobbying must be disclosed through the Lobbyist Registry. Both lobbyists and public office holders should assess conversations and communications on their content and intent.
The Lobbyist Registry By-Law exempts certain activities from registration under Section 4. These activities include simple exchanges of information (e.g. meeting requests), advocacy communication and responses to public office holders.
When should I register?
The Lobbyist Registry By-Law requires that lobbyists record lobbying activity within 10 business days of the initial communication occurring.
How do I register?
Lobbyists are asked to disclose lobbying activities by identifying the subject matter, the client for which they are lobbying, the individual they lobbied, the method of communication and the date. To register, click on the following link:
Interested to learn more?
For more on the Lobbyist Registry, click on the links below or visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page.
Can’t find the information you’re looking for? Contact the Registrar at email@example.com
BY-LAW No. 2020-001
CORPORATION OF THE TOWN OF COLLINGWOOD
Being a by-law to establish and maintain a lobbyist registry for the corporation of the Town of Collingwood
WHEREAS access to local government is an essential element of democratic governance;
AND WHEREAS lobbying by honest and appropriate means is a legitimate activity;
AND WHEREAS it is reasonable for Members of Council and the public at large to know the nature and amount of legitimate lobbying of local government;
AND WHEREAS Council desires to establish and maintain a Lobbyist Registry and appoint a Lobbyist Registrar to provide transparency about persons who lobby the Town of Collingwood’s public office holders;
AND WHEREAS section 223.9 of the Municipal Act, 2001 authorizes the Town of Collingwood to establish and maintain a Lobbyist Registry in which shall be kept registrations and returns filed by persons who lobby the Town of Collingwood’s public office holders;
AND WHEREAS section 223.11 of the Municipal Act, 2001 authorizes the Town of Collingwood to appoint a Lobbyist Registrar who is responsible for performing in an independent manner the functions assigned by the Town of Collingwood with respect to the Lobbyist Registry;
AND WHEREAS sections 8, 9 and 10 of the Municipal Act, 2001 authorize the Town of Collingwood to pass by-laws necessary or desirable for municipal purposes, and in particular paragraph 2 of subsection 10(2) authorizes by-laws respecting the accountability and transparency of the municipality and its operations;
NOW THEREFORE COUNCIL OF THE CORPORATION OF THE TOWN OF COLLINGWOOD ENACTS AS FOLLOWS:
Part 1: Definitions
- For the purposes of this By-law:
“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;
"Council" means the Council of the Corporation of the Town of Collingwood;
"lobby" or “lobbying” means any communication with a public officer 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;
a. "consultant lobbyist": an individual who lobbies for payment on behalf of a client (another individual, a business, partnership, organization or other entity);
b. "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; and
c. "voluntary unpaid lobbyist": an individual who lobbies without payment on behalf of an individual, business or any other for-profit entity for the benefit of the interests of the individual, business or for-profit entity;
"Lobbyist Registrar" means the individual appointed by Council in accordance with section 223.11 of the Municipal Act, 2001;
“Lobbyist Registry” means a system of registration in which shall be kept the registrations and returns of persons who lobby public office holders and which shall include such information as determined by the Lobbyist Registrar;
"public office holder" means:
a. A member of Council;
b. An officer or employee of the Town in a management position or with decision making powers or who have direct contact with Council, committee and/or local board;
c. A member of a local board or committee established by Council;
d. Employees who work on municipal elections in a supervisory role;
e. An Accountability Officer, including but not limited to the Integrity Commissioner, the Lobbyist Registrar, Ombudsman, and Closed Meeting Investigator;
f. Individuals providing professional services to the Town during the course of providing such services.
"registration" means a first filing by a lobbyist regarding a subject matter he or she intends to lobby on as set out in subsection 8(1); and
"return" means an update of a registration filed by a lobbyist as set out in subsection 8(2).
“Town” means the Corporation of the Town of Collingwood.
Part 2: Establishment of a Lobbyist Registry
2. Lobbyist Registry
2. The Lobbyist Registry is established pursuant to Section 223.9 of Part V.1 of the Municipal Act, 2001.
a. The Lobbyist Registry shall be available for public inspection through electronic, web-based access at all reasonable times.
b. The Lobbyist Code of Conduct is attached hereto as Schedule “A” and forms part of this By-law.
3. Exempted Persons and Organizations
3. The following persons and organizations shall not be considered lobbyists when acting in their public capacity:
a. Government or public sector not including the Town and other municipal bodies:
i. 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
ii. 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
iii. 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
iv. 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 Town, persons on staff of the members, or officers or employees of the municipality or local board
v. 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
b. Officials and employees of the Town and other municipal bodies:
i. Public office holders
ii. Members or employees of a local board of the Town
iii. Members of an advisory committee appointed by Council
c. Other public sector:
i. Persons communicating on behalf of local school boards
ii. Persons communicating on behalf of healthcare institutions
4. Exempted Activities
4. Lobbying does not include:
a) communication that occurs during a meeting of Council or a Committee of Council;
b) communication that occurs during a public process such as a public meeting, hearing, consultation, open house or media event held or sponsored by the Town or a public office holder or related to an application;
c) communication that is restricted to a request for information;
d) communication that is restricted to compliments or complaints about a service or program;
e) communication with a public office holder by an individual on behalf of an individual, business or other entity about:
i. 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;
ii. 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;
iii. 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;
f) 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:
i. 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;
ii. with an employee of the Town if the communication is part of the normal course of the approval process;
iii. with an employee of the Town 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;
g) submitting a bid proposal as part of the procurement process and any communication with designated employees of the Town as permitted in the procurement policies and procurement documents of the Town;
h) 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;
i) 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;
j) communication directly related to those Town-initiated consultative meetings and processes where an individual is participating as a stakeholder; communication for or against a policy or program that state a position where the primary focus is a broad community benefit or detriment, whether Town-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;
k) communication regarding a business or financial interest by not-for-profit businesses or other not-for-profit entity where such business or entity has no paid staff.
The Lobbyist Registrar may exempt lobbying from some or all the requirements of this By-law if he or she is satisfied in advance by a lobbyist that registration could reasonably be expected to prejudice the economic interests of the Town of Collingwood or the competitive position of the Town of Collingwood.
5.1 No person, on whose behalf another person undertakes lobbying activities, shall make a payment for the lobbying activities that is in whole or in part contingent on the successful outcome of any lobbying activities.
5.2 No person who lobbies a public office holder shall receive payment that is in whole or in part contingent on the successful outcome of any lobbying activities.
5.3 No former public office holder shall engage in lobbying activities for a period of twelve (12) months after ceasing to be a public office holder of the Town.
6. Lobbyist Registrar
6.1 The Town of Collingwood’s Accountability Officer be herein appointed as the Lobbyist Registrar in accordance with section 223.11 of the Municipal Act, 2001. If the Office of the Accountability Officer is vacant, the Town’s Clerk is authorized to assume the role of the Lobbyist Registrar for an interim period.
6.2 The Lobbyist Registrar's responsibilities include:
a) overseeing the establishment and maintenance of a lobbyist registry, including determining the lobbyist registry's form and content, in which shall be kept the registrations and returns filed by lobbyists under section 8 of this By-law;
b) making the lobbyist registry available for public inspection through electronic, web-based access at all reasonable times, namely:
i. that a registration or return is on the lobbyist registry within a reasonable timeframe after it is filed;
ii. that the lobbyist registry is accessible except during regular maintenance or due to circumstances beyond the Town of Collingwood's control;
c) providing advice, opinions and interpretation pertaining to the administration, application and enforcement of this By-law;
d) conducting inquiries in respect of a request made about compliance with this By-law, which may include requesting that a public office holder gather information concerning lobbying of him or her and provide that information to Lobbyist Registrar;
e) suspending, revoking or refusing a registration or return;
f) enforcing this By-law;
g) advising Council on lobbying matters and recommending improvements to this Bylaw; and
h) providing an annual report to Council and any other reports as the Lobbyist Registrar considers appropriate.
7. Responsibilities of a Public Office Holder
7.1 A public officer holder's responsibilities include:
a) responding, in a timely and complete manner, to a request from the Lobbyist Registrar under subsection 6.2(d) to gather and provide information; and
b) ending, as soon as practicable, lobbying by a lobbyist who is prohibited from lobbying and reporting, in a timely manner, such lobbying to the Lobbyist Registrar.
7.2 Except when responding to a request from the Lobbyist Registrar under subsection 6.2(d), a public officer holder's responsibilities under this By-law do not include gathering or providing information concerning lobbying of him or her.
Part 3: Registration and Reporting of Lobbying Activity
8. Registrations and Returns
8.1 All lobbyists shall file a return regarding lobbying communication within ten (10) business days of the initial communication occurring. The registration shall include:
a. his or her name, address and contact information;
b. if he or she is a consultant lobbyist, in-house lobbyist or voluntary unpaid lobbyist;
c. the name of the individual, client or other entity, including all business names under which the individual, client or other entity is operating, on whose behalf he or she is lobbying;
d. the name of the individual or individuals he or she is lobbying;
e. the subject matter and date on which the lobbying will start and finish, with the date on which the lobbying finishes being no more than one year after the date on which the lobbying starts; and
f. such further information as the Lobbyist Registrar may require.
8.2 A lobbyist shall file a return updating any change to his or her registration immediately.
8.3 If lobbying continues for more than one year, a lobbyist shall file a new registration for each year the lobbying continues.
8.4 The lobbyist is solely responsible for meeting the requirements with respect to registrations and returns set out in this section.
8.5 Lobbyists shall read and adhere to the Code of Conduct for Lobbyists during all lobbying activities with public office holders.
Part 4: Enforcement and Penalties
9.1 The Registrar may impose a temporary ban on communication in accordance with the following scheme if the Registrar finds that the requirements of this By-law and Code of Conduct have not been met:
a. for 30 days for a first contravention;
b. for 60 days for a second contravention;
c. for a period of time longer than 60 days as determined by the Lobbyist Registrar for a third or subsequent contravention.
9.2 When the Lobbyist Registrar prohibits an individual from lobbying, the Lobbyist Registrar:
a. shall notify the individual and all public office holders of the prohibition and the reason for the prohibition in such manner as the Lobbyist Registrar determines; and
a. may post the prohibition and the reason for the prohibition on the website.
9.3 The Lobbyist Registrar may remove a registration or return from the lobbyist registry if the Lobbyist Registrar finds that the individual who filed the registration or return has contravened this By-law.
9.4 When a registration or return is removed from the lobbyist registry, the individual who filed the registration or return is deemed, for the purposes of his or her existing and future obligations under this By-law, not to have filed the registration or return.
9.5. In accordance with subsection 223.12(7) of the Municipal Act, 2001, should the Lobbyist Registrar determine, when conducting an inquiry, that there are reasonable grounds to believe that an individual has contravened a provincial Act or the Criminal Code of Canada, the Lobbyist Registrar shall immediately refer the matter to appropriate authorities and suspend the inquiry pending the outcome of any resulting police investigation.
Part 5: Title, Scope and Interpretation
10. This By-law shall be known as the Lobbyist Registry By-law.
11. In the event of a conflict between the provisions of this by-law and the provisions of another by-law of the Corporation of the Town of Collingwood, the provisions of the more restrictive enactment shall prevail.
12. In the event any provision, or part thereof, of this by-law is found by a court of competent jurisdiction, to be ultra vires, such provision or part thereof, shall be deemed to be severed, and the remaining portion of such provision and all provisions of this by-law shall remain in full force and effect.
13. THAT this By-law shall come into force and effect on January 20, 2020, with the exception of Part 4: Enforcement and Penalties, which is to come into force and effect July 20, 2020 hereof at which time all By-laws and/or resolutions that are inconsistent with the provisions of this By-law and the same are hereby repealed or rescinded insofar as it is necessary to give effect to the provisions of this By-law.
ENACTED AND PASSED this 20th day of January, 2020.
Lobbyist Code of Conduct
Lobbyists are expected to comply with the standards of behaviour for lobbyists and the conduct of lobbying activities set out in this Code of Conduct when lobbying public office holders.
Lobbyists shall conduct themselves with honesty and integrity in all dealings with public office holders, clients, employers, the public and other lobbyists.
Lobbyists shall be open and transparent about their lobbying activities at all times while maintaining necessary confidentiality.
3. Disclosure of Identity and Purpose:
a. Lobbyists communicating with public office holders shall, at all times, disclose the identity of the individual, business or organization on whose behalf they are lobbying, as well as the subject matter of the communication.
b. Lobbyists shall register their name and company information and all lobbying activity with public office holders according to the Lobbyist By-law in the Lobbyist Registry.
4. Information and Confidentiality
a. Lobbyists shall inform their client, employer, or organization of the obligations under the Lobbyist Registry By-Law and their obligations to adhere to the Lobbyist Code of Conduct.
b. Lobbyists shall provide information that is accurate and factual to public office holders.
c. Lobbyists shall not knowingly mislead anyone and shall use proper care to avoid doing so inadvertently.
d. Lobbyists shall not divulge confidential information unless they have obtained informed consent of their client, employer or organization or unless disclosure is required by law.
e. Lobbyists shall not use any confidential information obtained in the course of their lobbying activities to the disadvantage of their client, employer or organization.
5. Competing Interests
a. Lobbyists shall not represent conflicting or competing interests without the written consent of those whose interests are involved.
b. Lobbyists shall advise public office holders that they have informed their clients of any potential or actual conflict of interest and obtained the written consent of each client concerned before proceeding or continuing lobbying activities.
c. Lobbyists shall not lobby public office holders on a subject matter for which they provide advice to the Town.
6. Improper Influence
a. Lobbyists shall avoid both the deed and the appearance of impropriety.
b. Lobbyists shall not knowingly place a public office holder in a conflict of interest or in a breach of Council and Staff Code of Conducts.
7. Restriction on Communication
a. Lobbyists shall not communicate with public office holders in relation to a procurement process except as stipulated in the Town’s Procurement documents and the Town’s Procurement By-law.
b. Lobbyists shall not engage in Lobbying activities where the Lobbyist Registrar has prohibited them from Lobbying Activities with the Town for a specified time period.