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April 22, 2010
Legal rules govern lobbyists’ support for City election candidates
The City of Toronto’s Lobbyist Registrar and Integrity Commissioner today issued a joint bulletin about lobbying in the campaign period leading up to a municipal election. Toronto’s 2010 election will be held on October 25 and many candidates are now formally declared and actively campaigning.

The Interpretation Bulletin clarifies that the City's rules on lobbying continue to apply during the municipal election campaign.

Linda Gehrke, the Lobbyist Registrar, emphasizes that the City’s Lobbying Bylaw (Chapter 140 of the Toronto Municipal Code) applies at all times regardless of elections. “Lobbyists must always register before they lobby a public office holder,” she said. “They must report their lobbying activities and they must comply with the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct, which is part of the Lobbying Bylaw.”

At present, approximately 970 lobbyists and 1,378 subject matters are registered with Toronto’s Lobbyist Registry (lobbyists must register each subject about which they intend to lobby).

Members of Toronto City Council and City boards are also bound by codes of conduct that specify they must not knowingly engage in prohibited lobbying communications.

"For example, if a lobbyist uses a fundraising function as a lobbying opportunity,” said Integrity Commissioner Janet Leiper, "the Code of Conduct advises that the member of Council should terminate the conversation or, where appropriate, draw the person's attention to the obligations imposed by the Lobbying Bylaw. If the violation is significant and not made in good faith, the member must report the violation to the Lobbyist Registrar."

Details about the Code of Conduct (including penalties for non-compliance) are available at

The Joint Interpretation Bulletin, including frequently asked questions (with answers) regarding lobbyists’ support of municipal candidates, is available on the website of the Lobbyist Registrar at and will also be made available on the Integrity Commissioner’s website. Alternatively, you can use this direct link to access the bulletin:

The City’s Elections web page is another source of information about making personal contributions to candidates, at

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents. For information about non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media contacts:
Linda Gehrke, Lobbyist Registrar, 416-338-6610,
Janet Leiper, Integrity Commissioner, 416-397-7770,



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