New Democrats introduce bill that would stop public money from being wasted on lobbyists

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March 5, 2015

VICTORIA – New Democrats introduced legislation on Thursday that would stop public institutions such as universities from wasting public funds on government lobbyists.

“Just last week we exposed that several post-secondary institutions wasted thousands of dollars hiring B.C. Liberal-connected lobbyists to lobby the B.C. Liberal government,” said New Democrat justice spokesperson Leonard Krog. “Liberal government-appointed university board members hired Liberal insiders with public money and student funds to lobby the Liberal government.

“This legislation would put a stop to that sort of racket.”

Krog said the Lobbyist Registry Reform Bill also would put a cooling off period in place for former public office holders and their ministerial staff before they can start lobbying.

The legislation would also address outstanding recommendations made by the Office of Information and Privacy Commissioner in her 2013 report, including making the nature of the lobby undertaking more transparent, ensuring that all parties with an interest in a lobby undertaking are reported and known to the public, and reviewing of the lobbying act every five years.

Gary Holman, New Democrat spokesperson for democratic reform said, “This bill adds to the suite of legislation introduced already this session by New Democrats that would make government work better, and be more accountable.

“British Columbians are becoming more and more disillusioned with government and it is the responsibility of elected officials to turn things around, and bring openness and integrity back to our democracy.”

Holman said the final pieces of democratic reform legislation will be introduced in the coming weeks.