Friday, October 28, 2011

OACAS Permitted to Lobby Under Lobbyist Registration Act


Update:  According to the Lobbyist Registry, The Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS) is permitted to Lobby the Ontario Government on behalf of Children's Aid Societies as the OACAS is deemed an "In House Lobbyist" and not a "Consultant Lobbyist".

Generally, and without getting into too much detail, groups which are formed such as Associations of Hospitals, the Association of Children's Aid Societies and similar bodies are allowed to lobby on behalf of their members as "In House Lobbyists" because they lobby for their members.

However, if a an individual CAS (or any number of them) were to hire an external "Consultant Lobbyist" outside of the OACAS to lobby the Government on their behalf, and the/those Society(ies) were using public funds (Ministry Transfer Payments to that / those particular CAS(s) ) to pay the "Constultant Lobbyist", then, and only then might their actions warrant prosecution under the Lobbyist Registration Act.

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The Foster Care Council of Canada is investigating whether the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies and it's member organizations (CAS) are contravening Offence creating provisions of the Lobbyists Registration Act in connection with the OACAS lobbying the Ontario Government with public funds from it's member agencies.

The OACAS (a registered Lobbyist) is required to fill out an attestation form stating that it does not lobby government using public funds from its clients (CAS). (CORRECTION: The OACAS, because they are an "In House Lobbyist" and not an external "Consultant Lobbyist" does not have to fill out an attestation form. Only an external "Consultant Lobbyist" would be required to do so)

If the investigation finds that the OACAS is in fact lobbying the government using public funds from it's clients (CAS) charges will be considered. Under the Act, a fine of up to $25,000 could be issued against the offenders as shown below:

Offence re public funds, etc.

(7.1)  Every individual who fails to comply with section 4.1 is guilty of an offence. 2010, c. 25, s. 25 (10).

Penalty

(8) Upon conviction of an offence under this section, an individual is liable to a fine of not more than $25,000. 1998, c. 27, Sched., s. 18 (8).

The following facts are obtained from the already publicly available public registry of Registered Lobbyists.

Registered Lobbyist: Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies
Senior Officer (Executive Director): Mary Ballantyne
Registration Number: OL0149-20000411140331

List of Employees Whose Duties Include Lobbying:
  • --- Virginia Rowden, Director of Social Policy;
  • --- Steven Woodman, Director, Corporate Services;
  • --- Bernadette Gallagher, Director, Education Services;
  • --- Rory Gleeson, Senior Policy Analyst;
  • --- Mary Ballantyne, Executive Director;
  • --- Jade Maitland, Coordinator, YouthCAN Program;
  • --- Adam Diamond, Coordinator, YouthCAN Program;

The following request for an advisory opinion has been submitted to the Registrar of the Ontario Lobbyist Registry (Integrity Commissioner) for response.

Read the request by clicking here



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