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February 7, 2007
City Council appoints Marilyn Abraham as Toronto’s first Lobbyist Registrar
City Council established a Canadian first today, improving public accountability with the appointment of Marilyn Abraham as the City’s first-ever Lobbyist Registrar.

Marilyn (Lyn) Abraham has held senior management positions in the fields of Human Resources and association management. Certifications are held in both fields of expertise.

Abraham served as Registrar of the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario (HRPAO), the largest human resources association in Canada. As Registrar, she managed functions of that Office under the HRPAO Act (1990). In addition, Abraham has worked in senior human resources roles at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and the Hamilton Board of Education. Abraham also worked for several years for the City of Burlington managing general interest recreational programs.

“Ms. Abraham will play an important role in ensuring Council’s decision making process is transparent, open and accountable to the public,” said Mayor David Miller. “The Registrar will establish clear rules for the interaction between lobbyists, Members of Council, and City staff, and will ensure the rules are followed, and enforced.”

Toronto becomes Canada’s first city to create such a position. The Registrar will implement a lobbyist registry, develop and enforce a lobbyist code of conduct. Abraham will begin her work as Registrar on April 2.

The Lobbyist Registrar is one component of the City’s five distinct accountability mechanisms, which are required under the City of Toronto Act. The mechanisms are:

The Auditor General is appointed by City Council and is independent of the administration. The Auditor General’s work focuses on strengthening Council's oversight role and continuing to improve accountability measures.

Toronto’s Integrity Commissioner plays an important role in maintaining the public’s confidence in City Hall and in ensuring that the codes of behaviour and ethics governing elected officials are objectively communicated and applied.

The Code of Conduct is intended to provide members of Council and other City board appointees with guidelines for appropriate behaviour and conduct that meet the highest ideals of public service. It provides guidelines on ensuring openness, transparency and equity in the City’s processes as well as providing for a complaint protocol.

The Lobbying Control Framework includes appointing a Lobbyist Registrar, implementing a lobbyist registry, adopting a lobbyists’ code of conduct and a system of enforcement mechanisms, including penalties for infractions.

The position of Ombudsman will be created in 2007 and will report directly to City Council. The Ombudsman will investigate citizen complaints about the City, and certain local boards of the City.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of more than 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for quality and innovation in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Kevin Sack, Strategic Communications, 416-919-6500 (cell)



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