The Lobbyist Registry is a public record of all individuals or organizations who have lobbied a public office holder at Niagara Region. The searchable database contains communication records, such as telephone calls, meetings or emails between those who lobby and members of Regional Council or Regional staff.
Search the Lobbyist Registry to learn about the lobbying activities at Niagara Region.
Regional Council approved Lobbyist Registry By-law 2022-24 to establish a Lobbyist Registry on April 14, 2022. Since this is a new requirement, there will be a six month educational period where penalties and sanctions will not be applied.
Lobbyists must register lobbying activities within five business days of the first communication, or before lobbying starts. Registration is free.
Lobbyists must also update their registration if there are any changes or additions.
Lobbyist activity is any substantive form of communication, including a formal meeting, email, letter, phone call or meaningful dialogue or exchange that materially advances a matter that is defined as lobbying, whether in a formal or an informal setting.
If you are an individual who is paid or represents a business or financial interest and are communicating with a public officer holder with the goal of trying to influence any legislative action including development, introduction, passage, defeat, amendment or repeal of a by-law, motion, resolution or the outcome of a decision on any matter before Council or a Committee of Council, or Councillor or staff member acting under delegated authority, then you are required to register your activity with the Lobbyist Registry.
Public office holders
The registry identifies three types of lobbyists:
Unfortunately, the Lobbyist Registry has limited flexibility at this time. If you qualify as more than one type of lobbyist, you will have to submit a form for each separate type of lobbyist.
Persons and organizations not considered lobbyists
The following persons and organizations shall not be considered lobbyists when acting in their public capacity:
For more information on who is exempt from registering, see the Lobbyist Registry By-law 2022-24.
When registering as a lobbyist, you will need to identify your name and business address as well as the category of lobbyist you fall under. If you are working on behalf of a client, you will identify the client name and address. You must declare whether or not you have ever held a position with Niagara Region.
When submitting your lobbying activity, you will be required to identify the subject matter, such as Development Charges By-law.
When disclosing your activity, you will include the person you lobbied, how you lobbied, such as email, the date of the activity (or the time period the lobbying will take place), and a brief description of your communication.
There is no cost to register as a lobbyist.
If you submit information in error, contact the Regional Clerk.
Activities you need to disclose
Lobbying activity covers “substantive” forms of communication including a formal meeting, e-mail, letter, or phone call. Also included is any meaningful dialogue or exchange whether in a formal or in an informal setting. This would include conversations at a social event (e.g. golf tournament) that constitutes lobbying and aims to influence a legislative action.
Activities that don't need to be disclosed
Most interactions you have with Regional staff and / or members of Council will not need to be registered. This includes:
If a member of Council approached you and is seeking information from you, you don't have to register this communication.
If Niagara Region has invited you to participate in a stakeholder relations session, it doesn't need to be registered. Any communication surrounding your role as a stakeholder is not considering lobbying.
If the same topic occurs multiple times or over an extended period of time
You're able to include a date range for a maximum period of one year if your lobbying will be ongoing. You only need to register the first communication or discussion you have.
For example, if you have an extended email thread about the same topic, you only have to submit that email exchange once, on the date the exchange began. However, if the topic changes during the course of the exchange, you're required to register the new topic.
The Lobbyist Registrar is an accountability officer whose powers and duties are set out in the Municipal Act, 2001 and the Lobbyist Registry By-law 2022-24. The Lobbyist Registrar enforces the Lobbyist Registry and the Lobbyist Code of Conduct.
The Registrar has the power to investigate complaints and to impose sanctions if lobbying activity has not been disclosed, or if an individual has contravened the Lobbyist Code of Conduct. Should the registrar impose a sanction, it will be in the form of a temporary ban on communication. Notice of the temporary ban will be circulated to members of Council and Regional staff and posted on the Region's website.
If the Lobbyist Registrar finds that the requirements of the Lobbyist Registry By-law and / or Lobbyist Code of Conduct have not been met, a ban on lobbying may be imposed:
Members of Council and Regional staff are bound by their respective codes of conduct to refrain from communicating with individuals who have been found in contravention of the Lobbyist Registry By-law.