Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Make lobbyist registry mandatory

re: Lobbyist registry still on council’s radar (Dec. 13)

Back in 2004, I had a client who owned land near the Flamboro casino. He wanted to transform part of the property in to a driving range to garner a little income for his family.
I inquired about registering with the provincial lobbyist registry, but was told that I should register in my own jurisdiction as I would not be lobbying any provincial members of parliament.
I approached the city clerk at the time, who thought it was a great idea and had it instituted through the clerk’s office and we finally had a registry, although it was voluntary.
Over the years I have forwarded many suggestion to the subcommittee in charge of this registry with suggestions how to make it better.
I sincerely hope subcommittee chair Lloyd Ferguson gets his act together soon, as all of my e-mail suggestions sent to him over the years have came back as being deleted without even being read. No wonder Coun. Ferguson is defending this committee’s glacial pace of reform.
Perhaps this subcommittee needs a chairman who isn’t as ill-informed as he is regarding lobbyists who ply their trade in Hamilton. Obviously I’m not the only one, as I know of six infrastructure lobbyists who are also registered on the provincial and federal registries, but not Hamilton’s voluntary one. Once the registry becomes mandatory, there will be a lot of red faces on councillors who were lobbied by these individuals.

Mark-Alan Whittle
Street Advisor Consulting

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