Whitehorse Daily Star

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NDP Leader Kate White

Lobbyists must now report their activities

Lobbyists are now required to report their activities, due to last Thursday’s implementation of the Lobbyist Registration Act.

By Gabrielle Plonka on October 21, 2020

Lobbyists are now required to report their activities, due to last Thursday’s implementation of the Lobbyist Registration Act.

“Yukoners need to know who is communicating with government regarding important decisions that directly affect them,” Premier Sandy Silver said in a press release.

“The Yukon Lobbyist Registry supports our government’s commitment to openness, transparency and accountability by making this information readily available to the public.”

Lobbyists are responsible for registering and entering their information online. 

A 90-day grace period from Oct. 15 is in effect, to allow for lobbyists to learn and adhere to the new reporting requirements. All lobbyists must register by Jan. 13, 2021.

David Jones, the Yukon’s Conflict of Interest Commissioner, is responsible for maintaining and overseeing the Lobbyist Registry.

The Yukon had one registered lobbyist and zero reported lobbying activities as of this morning, a week after the registry went live.

An online quiz is available on the registry website to help visitors gauge whether they might qualify as a lobbyist – it asks about communication with government officials, in what manner and for what purpose.

Every jurisdiction in Canada now has lobbyist legislation.

NDP Leader Kate White noted her party has been calling for a lobbyist registry for more than a decade.

“Right now, no one knows; we have no idea who has the ear of government,” White said.

“I think it’s important to know who is having those conversations.”

A lobbyist is characterized as a person or organization that communicates with an elected official or government employee with the intention of influencing decisions. That could take place in person, via email or phone, or through petitions and social media.

White said she thinks there is “absolutely” a lot of lobbying happening behind closed doors in the Yukon.

“This will help clarify, so we have a better idea who is speaking with government,” White said.

Lobbying is an “important job,” she added, and there are environmental lobbyists as well as resource lobbyists advocating for important issues.

The lobbyist registry clarifies the difference between lobbying and advocacy – advocacy seeks public support for an issue, while lobbying is advocacy with the intention of influencing governmental decisions.

“An attempt to influence a government decision is the key difference between routine communications which are not lobbying, and attempts to persuade a public office holder,” the registry website says.

Comments (13)

Up 0 Down 1

woodcutter on Oct 27, 2020 at 4:18 pm

Rule of thumb in the Yukon: If your not in conflict, your not doing enough business.

Up 8 Down 1

Max Mack on Oct 27, 2020 at 11:27 am

And yet the biggest lobby groups are excluded from the definition of "lobbyist". First Nations, municipalities and environmental groups are actively lobbying government every single day. Oh wait, that's called "advocacy".

How convenient.

Up 5 Down 0

TheHammer on Oct 26, 2020 at 3:30 pm

Spotlight on the trough at animal farm.

Up 1 Down 2

Nathan Living on Oct 25, 2020 at 8:51 pm

I disagree with this.
As long as political donations are recorded and Airbus type kickbacks are not recorded anywhere the ship can keep sailing.

Up 12 Down 0

Sheepchaser on Oct 25, 2020 at 3:52 am

Lobbyists are just lawyers that were too ambitious for the legal system. They’ve done their fair share to destroy representative democracy. Just another morally dubious construct of the past we could do without.

Up 6 Down 4

justsayin' on Oct 23, 2020 at 8:43 pm

Umm because the Liberals do not have any back room dealings and are completely transparent; that's why the media is allowed into the meetings between the Liberals and FN.

Up 22 Down 5

Hahaha... WTF!?!? on Oct 23, 2020 at 10:06 am

What about YG lobbying FN governments... Will we see how much is being spent there?

Up 11 Down 19

EJ on Oct 23, 2020 at 12:11 am

The Yukon Party conservatives definitely won't like this! 10 bucks says that if they win the next election they will find some reason to axe it. Secret backroom lobbying and poker games was basically how they ran government for their previous 15 years in power.

Up 24 Down 2

Groucho d'North on Oct 22, 2020 at 4:59 pm

So all these meetings with first nations asking for this and that, are they lobbyists or other orders of government? What about AYC and other organized community groups?

Up 8 Down 9

Wilf Carter on Oct 22, 2020 at 10:17 am

Will not work in Yukon like everywhere else it failed. Who is a LB's?

Up 21 Down 2

Matthew on Oct 21, 2020 at 6:01 pm

Oh please. . Stop trying to be transparent. . It's clearly not working.. lobbying, aka legal bribes? Lol ALL money spent by government should be listed and accounted for to the dollar simple as that!

Up 15 Down 1

Martin on Oct 21, 2020 at 5:03 pm

Some developing countries have a form that needs to be filled out before they see a government employee at a managerial level. That form is filed in case the public needs it. Managers are doing their job on behalf of the people and taxpayers, so ....

Up 35 Down 1

Politico on Oct 21, 2020 at 3:42 pm

It won't solve all the transparency problems of Government but it's a start

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