About the Lobbyist Registrar
The Office of the Lobbyist Registrar ensures the public disclosure of lobbying activities and oversees the regulation of lobbyists’ conduct.
The Office of the Lobbyist Registrar of the City of Toronto maintains the first public, online municipal lobbyist registry in Canada and regulates the conduct of lobbyists in the City.
The Lobbyist Registrar is one of the City’s four Accountability Officers. She performs her duties in an independent manner and is accountable to Council. (Chapter 3, Accountability Officers, of the Toronto Municipal Code sets out the policy and administrative framework for the Accountability Officers of the City of Toronto. Article IV deals with the Lobbyist Registrar.) To learn more about the Lobbyist Registrar, please see the Registrar’s biography elsewhere in this section.
We promote and enhance the integrity of the City’s decision making by displaying lobbying activities to the public and regulating lobbyists’ conduct.
We serve the general public, lobbyists and public office holders by providing the following functions and activities.
We maintain an online registry of lobbyists and lobbying activities that may be searched by anyone at anytime.
Advice and Interpretation
We provide guidance, opinions and interpretation of the Lobbying By-law to anyone who needs it. One way we do this is by issuing interpretation and advisory bulletins, which we post on this site.
Education and Outreach
We strive to make the lobbying process more efficient and open. We help lobbyists work through the registration process, advise public office holders on how to respond to violations of the By-law, and help the public search the Registry efficiently.
Visit our tutorial page for video instructions on how to register and update lobbyist and subject matter registrations and how to search the Registry.
Regulating Lobbyists’ Conduct
We ensure that lobbyists comply with the Registry system and Code of Conduct. We review, verify and approve or refuse registrations, to ensure they comply with the By-law. We may revoke, remove or suspend a registration where the lobbyist does not comply with registration requirements.
The Lobbyist Registrar conducts investigations or inquiries to determine if violations of the By-law have occurred. She may report to Council or lay a charge under the Provincial Offences Act.
The mandate of the Lobbyist Registrar and rules governing lobbying at the City are found in the Lobbying By-law (Chapter 140, Lobbying, of the Toronto Municipal Code).
The regulation of lobbying the City government’s public office holders is based on the following principles.
- The City government’s duty to make decisions in the public interest should not be impeded.
- Open and unfettered access to City government is a vital aspect of local democracy.
- Lobbying public office holders is a legitimate activity.
- Public office holders and the public should be able to know who is attempting to influence City government.
- Public disclosure of lobbying activity and standards of conduct for lobbyists are important to the integrity of City government decision making.
- A system for the registration of lobbying activity and the regulation of the conduct of lobbyists should not impede access to the City government.
The Office of the Lobbyist Registrar discloses expenses for travel and hospitality, and purchases with the City PCard.
The Office of the Lobbyist Registrar (OLR) is one of four Accountability Offices within the City of Toronto. The mandate of the OLR is to promote and enhance the transparency and integrity of City government decision making through public disclosure of lobbying activities through a lobbyist registry and regulation of lobbyists’ conduct under Chapter 140 of the Toronto Municipal Code (the Lobbying By-law).
The OLR’s official Twitter account, @TO_LobbyistReg, is used to communicate to those interested in the office’s mandates and share information about our services and activities.
The OLR’s official position will be communicated through traditional channels such as official publications, statements to the media and the OLR’s website at www.toronto.ca/lobbying.
Content of Tweets
The OLR will deliver tweets that are relevant to those interested in its mandates and related issues.
Content includes (but is not limited to):
- Information, quotes, photos or videos related to OLR mandates and activities.
- Links to news releases, reports, newsletters, presentations, interpretation bulletins, FAQs and other approved, publicly available OLR material.
- Notices of OLR training and outreach events.
- Links to relevant information produced and published elsewhere (media outlets, other commissioners, researchers, and others). These can include videos, blog posts and tweets that are repeated from other Twitter users (“retweets”).
Twitter as a Source of Official Policy
Tweets and retweets should not be considered in any way binding or as an authoritative source of law, policy, advice or guidance from the OLR. Further, the decision of the OLR to tweet or retweet should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind.
Any expression of the OLR’s official position will be communicated through OLR publications, statements to the media and the OLR’s website at www.toronto.ca/lobbying.
Following a particular Twitter user does not imply endorsement of any kind. The OLR follows accounts on Twitter that it believes may be relevant to its mandates.
Being a follower of the OLR’s twitter feed does not imply that the OLR endorses the follower or that OLR follows that user.
The OLR will take steps to remove or block a follower who tweets material that is inappropriate, offensive and reflects or includes the following (but not limited to):
- Racist, hateful, sexist, homophobic, slanderous, insulting, life-threatening messages;
- Abusive, aggressive, coarse, vulgar, violent, obscene, or pornographic comments;
- Messages that encourage or suggest illegal activity; and
Our Twitter account will be updated and monitored during regular office hours Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The number of tweets will vary, during some periods; we may tweet more or less frequently than average.
When possible, the OLR tweets will include links to web content that is accessible. Twitter is a third party platform and is not subject to the Government of Canada policies for Web accessibility.
@Replies and Direct Messages
The OLR will respond to @replies and direct messages in their language of origin, where possible.
Lobbyists who wish to register or update their registration should do so through our online registry at www.toronto.ca/lobbying. Individuals who would like to register for the training session need to complete the registration form which can be found on our website at www.toronto.ca/lobbying and send it in by email to LobbyingBylawTraining@toronto.ca.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to make a media request.
Inquiries and Complaints
Inquiries and complaints will not be accepted via Twitter. Please contact us by email at LobbyistRegistrarInquiry@toronto.ca or call 416-338-5858 to make an inquiry or submit a complaint.
Questions about this Policy
If you have questions about this policy, please email email@example.com or call 416‑338-5858.
April 24, 2015
Cristina De Caprio, Lobbyist Registrar
Cristina De Caprio was appointed as Lobbyist Registrar for the City of Toronto effective September 26, 2016, where she is responsible for the City’s lobbyist registry and ethics.
Cristina De Caprio holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Western Ontario (1992) and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1994. She practised law in the areas of wills, estates and family law.
Ms. De Caprio is an experienced registrar with significant leadership roles in regulatory organizations including the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario, the College of Chiropractors of Ontario and the College of Denturists of Ontario. She is also a renowned public speaker on regulatory issues.
Ms. De Caprio has a variety of leadership experience in the non-profit sector, having led gift planning for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society.
Ms. De Caprio enjoys serving her professional and local community and has volunteered with numerous professional associations, charitable organizations and local schools.
Duties of the Lobbyist Registrar
The Lobbyist Registrar reports directly to City Council but fulfills the role in a fully independent manner.
The Lobbyist Registrar…
- Provides advice, opinions and interpretations about the administration, application and enforcement of the lobbying control framework
- Verifies registrations and conducts reviews to ensure compliance with the Lobbying By-law
- Conducts investigations to determine if violations of the By-law have occurred
- Can commence prosecution for violations under the Provincial Offences Act
- Recommends improvements or amendments to the By-law.
City Council considered establishing a lobbyist registry as early as 1998, following the creation of the amalgamated City of Toronto.
In 2003, Council asked the Province of Ontario for special legislation to permit the City to establish a lobbyist registry within the office of an integrity commissioner. The application for this special legislation was put on hold in 2004 with the creation of a joint task force to review the City of Toronto Act, 1997.
In her 2005 report, Toronto Computer Leasing Inquiry, the Honourable Madam Justice Denise E. Bellamy, Commissioner, wrote:
“The City should treat lobbying as a potentially helpful practice that should be carefully controlled.”
Her inquiry heightened awareness of the prevalence of lobbying and she recommended that a lobbyist registry be established by the City of Toronto.
Justice Bellamy’s recommendations were considered in the development of the provisions in the City of Toronto Act, 2006 that require the City to establish a lobbyist registry and permit the City to appoint a lobbyist registrar.
In 2007, City Council adopted the Lobbying By-law (PDF), establishing the first municipal lobbyist registry in Canada, and appointed Marilyn Abraham as its first Lobbyist Registrar.
The online Registry went live in February 2008.
Following Marilyn Abraham’s resignation, Council appointed Linda Gehrke Lobbyist Registrar in June 2008.
Following Linda Gehrke’s retirement, Council appointed Cristina De Caprio Lobbyist Registrar for the City of Toronto effective September 26, 2016
Here’s a link to the Lobbyist Registrar’s annual reports to City Council.