Hamilton has voluntary registry
In 2007, Toronto became the first Canadian municipality to establish this type of registry, which requires city officials to publicly disclose every time they meet with a lobbyist.
Ottawa's city council followed suit, voting in July 2012 to create its own lobbyist registry.
In 2004, Hamilton set up a program that allows lobbyists to register with the city on a voluntary basis.
As of Tuesday, the list contained only three names.
Mark-Alan Whittle is one of names. He's a semi-retired lobbyist who advocated for the voluntary list and is pushing the city to adopt a mandatory registry.
He said lobbyists, including those representing developers and also anti-poverty groups, have a “way too cozy relationship” with officials at city hall.
“If you don't have a mandatory registry to capture these guys, you're not going to know what's going on.”
However, he's doubtful that city councillors will champion the cause because they're worried about the public learning about their close ties to lobbyists, he said. “They know once this is mandatory there'll be a lot of red faces around the council chamber and among city staff.”