Vancouver: Non-Partisan Association Vancouver city mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe called for the creation of a public online lobbyist registry, another step in his goal of making Vancouver City Hall the most open government in Canada.
LaPointe said, “City Hall creates policy for Vancouver residents based on discussions with people from a variety of organizations. The public has the right to know who they are and what they’re talking about.”
LaPointe said that the registry will provide a window into these activities and discussions so Vancouverites can be informed about how the City makes decisions that affect them, whether they’re about arts, transportation, building, or parking.
The announcement of the registry follows LaPointe’s detailed plan to create Vancouver’s first Office of the Ombudsperson. It will hear citizens’ grievances when they feel other city departments have failed them. He has also announced plans to create a bylaw requiring the City to routinely disclose information.
He suggests the system will work as the lobbyists would be required to register their activities and the nature of their business in an online database before contacting an elected official or civic employee (including employees with civic agencies).
Residents without a business or organizational interest would not be required to register.
LaPointe says the NPA is open to a regional or provincial approach to a lobbyist registry but notes that Vancouver will take action alone if agreement cannot be reached in a reasonable period of time.
“It is time for the cloak of secrecy at City Hall to be lifted,” says LaPointe. “The NPA is committed to openness and transparency. A lobbyist registry is another step towards that pledge.”