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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered



  1. Funny how you forget to mention Lobbying by left wing groups who use the non-profit/community group label thus not register, like Toronto Enviromental Alliance, TTC Riders, OCAP and so forth.

    How come you are not upset that THEIR lobbying does not bother you? You are talking about transparency.

    Shelley Carroll & Mike Layton even hired two of TEA/TTC Riders lobbyists (Jamie KirkPatrick and Michelle Hay).

  2. Hey Jack! That’s a complicated issue. Some people argue that non-profits should register as “lobbyists”, but the problem is: where do you draw the line? If a neighbourhood association gets in touch with their Councillor… are they lobbying? If a group of artists, or cylicsts, or church-goers, or kite-fliers has a meeting with a Councillor… are they lobbying?

    When I was doing advocacy for Cycle Toronto, or the Toronto Public Space Committee, I didn’t register as a lobbyist. Although that was a very clear situation, because I wasn’t being paid to lobby. In my current role as the Campaign Director for the Friends of the Reform Act, I did register as a federal lobbyist, because I was being paid.

    When it comes to local groups like TEA, or OCAP, I’m really not sure what the approach should be. There is an important difference: Non-profit groups don’t stand to profit (obviously) from Council decisions. These are groups who are advocating around social or environmental issues, and they are often funded directly by individual citizens. And here’s the thing: Councillors are expected to speak with citizens, and consult with them, and solicit feedback from them. That’s their job. That’s who they represent. That’s who elects them. Councillors are servants of the people – not servants of private companies. So, when a group of citizens want to speak to a Councillor, I’m not sure if that should qualify as “lobbying”.

    So, my question to you is, where would you draw the line?

    As for Jamie and Michal, there is nothing unethical about them being hired at City Hall. They are both committed community advocates, with lots of experience with Municipal politics. Why shouldn’t Shelley or Mike hire them as political staff?

  3. Could you do a in depth look at Ports Toronto (formerly Toronto port Authority) and Porter Airlines?

    Your hard work was enlightening!

    Wayne C

  4. Another way in which the rules are bent is when politicians hold fundraiser dinners and sell tickets. Companies buy multiple tickets, give them out to employees, but put the employee name’s on the ‘donation’ receipt. I know of some candidates whom will brazenly ask companies how many tables they want to buy.