Vancouver City Councillor Andrea Reimer is calling on the province to let cities craft their own lobbyist registries.
Vision Vancouver’s Reimer is pitching a motion next week which would ask the Lower Mainland Local Government Association to formally make the request of Victoria.
Lobbyists – those who attempt to influence government on behalf corporations or organizations – are covered provincially under the Lobbyists Registration Act.
However, according to Reimer’s motion, the province doesn’t currently let cities use the provincial registry nor does it give them the power to enforce lobbyist rules under registries of their own.
The city of Surrey currently maintains a voluntary registry.
The motion argues there is a public interest in increasing transparency at city hall as to who is doing business with the city, and under what circumstances.
It points to other provinces who have implemented similar legislation, such as Quebec which requires municipal lobbyists to register under the provincial registry, and Ontario, which lets cities set their own up with enforcement powers.
City staff have been directed to look into the idea several times, most recently in 2014, and have found Vancouver currently lacks the legal authority to create such a registry.
Councillors will vote on the motion, which also asks staff to take a closer look at Surrey’s registry, Tuesday.