P.E.I. lobbyists operating in the dark, group warns

P.E.I. needs legislation to ensure lobbyists are registered, says the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Last province without a lobbyist registry

P.E.I. needs legislation to ensure lobbyists are registered, says the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Interests from outside P.E.I. could be influencing government policy without anyone knowing, says Kevin Lacey, Atlantic director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. (CBC)

The registry would include the names of lobbyists who are paid by a group to convince the government to change or maintain its policies on specific issues. P.E.I. is the only province that either doesn't have a registry or isn't making plans to establish one.

Kevin Lacey, Atlantic director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, said there are dangers in P.E.I. not having a registry.

"You don't know who's being paid for by who and who is lobbying for what," said Lacey.

"You would have interest from outside the province who would either hire lobbyists or have lobbyists from other parts of the country. You'll have national organizations attempting to influence Island policies, but no one would know. They would not have to disclose their interest in any of the provincial government's policies."

Lacey said a registry would also include limitations on when a former provincial employee could start working as a lobbyist.

The provincial government says a lobbyist registry isn't a top priority for the government.

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