City of Edmonton launches lobbyist registry
Mayor Don Iveson says the registry will 'lift the veil' off some of council's dealings
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The city of Edmonton has launched a lobbyist registry that Mayor Don Iveson says will “lift the veil” off some of council’s dealings.
Mayor Don Iveson announced Tuesday that any person or organization requesting a meeting regarding a financial interest, or policy change in a city decision, is now required to add themselves to the registry.
Iveson said lobbyist meetings with himself and his office staff have been tracked since before Christmas, and will now be logged and reported publicly every two months.
“I think it’s pretty much best practice now for public officials to disclose who is meeting with them and I think it’s only fair for folks who have a very specific and financial interest and decisions at city hall,” Iveson said.
“The purpose of the registry is for me as an elected official is to be transparent about who is coming and trying to influence our decision making.”
The lobbyist registry was one of Iveson’s campaign promises last fall.
The mayor said he will encourage city councilors to consider formally adopting the same process.
Public Interest Alberta Executive Director Joel French said the move is positive, but added he would like to see the registry as a permanent requirement for all mayors and councillors in the future.
“It’s a very small step, but it is a step in the right direction,” French said. “Shining a light on anyone that’s trying to influence government is something that’s very, very important.”
The first posting shows 17 groups or individuals met with Iveson or his staff for lobbying purposes between Nov. 7 and Dec. 20, 2017.
Toronto was the first Canadian city to establish a lobbyist registry in 2007.
With files from Kashmala Fida