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(UPDATE: Dec. 6 @ 10:10 am) – Kelowna will soon have its own lobbyist registry.
Mayor Tom Dyas’ motion was approved unanimously by council during Monday’s meeting.
The registry will require developers, residents groups or anyone seeking to influence government decision-making to public register online.
Additionally, it will provide the public with information on how many times anyone met with local government officials and general information on the meetings that take place.
While discussing the matter, councillor Loyal Woolridge said he would like to see the registry expanded to include not only developers but all organized advocacy groups.
“Aside from development permits in front of us, we're often contact by organized groups whether its neighbourhood associations, sports groups, arts groups, etc.,” said councillor Wooldridge.
His city council colleagues agreed.
Staff will now create a report on the future registry and are expected to bring it forward to council in early 2023.
(Original story: Dec. 5 @ 10:24 am) – During Monday’s regular council meeting, mayor Tom Dyas will be putting forward a motion to create a municipal lobbyist registry.
This was one of Dyas’ campaign promises during the civic election and will require the support of half of city council.
The registry would require developers, residents groups or anyone seeking to influence government decision-making to publicly register online.
In a news release, the city explains the registry would provide residents with information on how many times anyone met with local government officials to influence their decision-making and general information on the meetings.
Photo Credit: NowMedia
“Throughout the campaign it was clear that people felt as if decisions were made long before they ever reached council for a vote, and I committed to clearing the air by creating Kelowna’s first municipal lobbyist registry,” said mayor Tom Dyas.
“It’s important to me that I’m not the type of politician who says whatever it takes to get elected and then forgets about those conversations and promises I made once elected.”
Dyas pledged that he would create the registry in September.
Currently, the City of Surrey is the only municipality with a lobbyist registry in BC. Other cities across Canada have them, including the City of Toronto.
“Kelowna is no longer a small town with minor projects, we are among the fastest growing cities in Canada and we need to modernize our systems to ensure that city hall has the transparency and accountability that residents want to see from their decision-makers,” said Dyas.
The motion will be brought forward at the end of Monday’s meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 1:30 pm.
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