The grace period for the new Yukon lobbyist registry has come to an end and those who seek to influence politicians will now need to report their efforts to a public database. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)

The grace period for the new Yukon lobbyist registry has come to an end and those who seek to influence politicians will now need to report their efforts to a public database. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)

Grace period for new lobbyist registry ends

So far nine lobbyists have registered their activities with politicians in the territory

The grace period for the new Yukon lobbyist registry has come to an end and those who seek to influence politicians will now need to report their efforts to a public database.

The new legislation — aimed at increasing government transparency — came into effect on Oct. 15. Lobbyists were then given a 90-day “grace period” in order to allow actors to “learn about the process and to adapt to the new reporting requirements.”

That grace period ended Jan. 13.

“The online registry will give all Yukoners the opportunity to learn about who is lobbying government, how they are lobbying, and why. Yukoners deserve to know who is communicating with government about important decisions that affect them directly,” said Premier Sandy Silver in the legislature when the new laws were announced.

“We’re very proud to offer this registry in Yukon, which is the first of its kind in the North and it’s a major step toward supporting greater transparency,” he said, referencing the fact that while all the provinces have a registry, this is the first among the three territories.

The Conflict of Interest Commissioner will oversee and monitor the registry.

Nine lobbyists had registered as of Jan. 12; four as consultants and five “in-house” lobbyists.

In-house lobbyists are members or employees of organizations and must register if they collectively lobby for 20 hours or more per year. Consultant lobbyists are hired by organizations and must register regardless of how much time they spend consulting in a year.

The registry is meant to allow Yukoners to see who is interacting with elected officials.

For example, Northwestel reported that it planned to lobby a number of MLAs from all three parties, including Premier Sandy Silver. It also listed deputy ministers of community services and highways and public works in addition to other departments listed generally.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business reported seven interactions with politicians, including requests for Liberal MLAs to participate in online campaigns, a letter urging the premier to ask the federal government to “cancel or at least defer CPP premium increases” and a meeting with the Yukon Party.

In another entry, Ottawa-based lobbyist Glenn Priestley advocated on behalf of the Northern Air Transport Association about concerns the association has about the Workers Compensation Board Act and “requested lobbying for reasonable solutions that are in harmony with other territories and provinces.”

Priestley reported meeting or planning to meet with a number of members of the Liberal caucus over a three year period starting in 2020 until 2023.

Other lobbyists who have registered include StategyCorp Inc., Primerica Financial Services, Golfdale Consulting, Northern Vision Development LP, Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc., and the Canadian Association of Direct Relationship Insurers.

Each lobbyist report must list the address of the organization, a project title, summary or details and the type of lobbying activity that was taken.

Contact Haley Ritchie at haley.ritchie@yukon-news.com

Yukon government

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