Mayor Bowman to Introduce Motion to Establish Lobbyist Registry

Mayor Brian Bowman will introduce a motion at Executive Policy Committee (EPC) this morning recommending that an implementation plan be developed to establish a lobbyist registry for the City of Winnipeg.

“A lobbyist registry is an accountability tool that can help strengthen openness and transparency, and is long overdue at City Hall,” said Mayor Bowman. “Lobbyist registries are an effective tool that allows members of the public to clearly see who is attempting to influence government decision makers and the reasons behind their efforts.”

“These types of registries can help build open, transparent, and accountable government,” said Mayor Bowman.

In December last year, Council voted to proceed with establishing Winnipeg’s first Integrity Commissioner. At that time, Council directed that oversight for any lobbyist registry should be included within the mandate of the Integrity Commissioner.

A three member panel of Council, chaired by Councillor Mike Pagtakhan together with Speaker Devi Sharma and Councillor Matt Allard, is currently reviewing applications and will be recommending to EPC for Council’s approval the appointment of Winnipeg’s first Integrity Commissioner.

The Office of Integrity Commissioner will provide a transparent, accessible, and open process through which Councillors and members of the public may report or receive information on perceived conflicts of interest by a sitting member of Council. Establishing a lobbyist registry and including it within the Integrity Commissioner’s mandate is more effective, efficient, and helps reduce administrative costs.

Several municipalities in Canada have implemented integrity commissioners and offices, and lobbyist registries have been established at both the provincial and municipal levels across Canada including Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton and Brampton. Manitoba’s provincial lobbyist registry has been in place since April 2012.

“It is important that we not move backward and allow old-school politics back into City Hall,” said Mayor Bowman. “A lobbyist registry will help move us forward, and will ensure taxpayers and the public get to see who is trying to influence government decision making and why.”