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LETTER: Lobbyist registry ensures accountability, transparency

re: Is registration the right answer? (Editorial, April 10)
After reading your editorial, I reflected back 10 years ago when the present voluntary lobbyist registry got started in the clerk’s office at my urging.
Being a lobbyist at that time, I had work to do for a client and wanted to ensure transparency and accountability. I had meetings with staff that were productive, but in the end my client was not successful.
Over the years, this registry has been revised and updated. The capture question is clear and the forms easy to fill out.
If the registry is made mandatory and funded, the clerks should be allowed to continue administering the lobbyist registry and if any problems arise, they could be forwarded to the city’s integrity commissioner for adjudication.
After 10 long years, I’m still on top of the list of registered lobbyists, which can be found at the city website.
It is interesting to note that two anti-fluoride lobbyists registered before they began lobbying for the removal of this chemical from our pristine water supply.
Despite what people might think, lobbyists are not evil and many are very skilled. Just browse through the provincial lobbyist registry and type in some local names — bingo, you hit pay dirt.
Mark-Alan Whittle
Hamilton Mountain

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