The rule of law?

Today, the premier's former special advisor Ken Dobell will plead guilty to violating the province's Lobbyists Registration Act. But is it reasonable to think Mr. Dobell is the only government relations consultant who has failed to follow the letter of that law since it was introduced back in 2001? So, yesterday, we asked Attorney General Wally Oppal whether he was confident everyone on the lobbyist registry had signed-up properly and on time. But Attorney General Oppal didn't know. And he didn't seem to much care. The following is a complete transcript of that scrum.

Media What are you going to say today about the Ken Dobell thing. Since you're the only guy the government's putting up to talk to us, we're going to ask you the questions.

Attorney General Oppal Well, I'm going to say that let's all be patient and wait for the judge to make his or her decision. And we'll find out what happens to Ken Dobell and what happens to the process.

Media Will somebody be willing to talk about these issues after tomorrow?

Attorney General Oppal I can't speak for other people in government. But I'm always prepared to talk about these things. You know open I am and how candid I am about these things Vaughn.

Media Where is the makeover for the provincial Lobbyists Registration Act? It was recommended a year ago by the information and privacy commissioner...

Attorney General Oppal There's a position paper that's been put out by the deputy attorney general who has been working on it. He's had at least one or maybe more meetings with the commissioner. And I think that you'll see something hopefully within the next year or so. We've got the legislative calendar that's full for this spring. But it's something that's clearly on our radar, I can tell you that...

Media Well, there's not much of a rush if you're not going to get it done before the election...

Attorney General Oppal Well, it's a question of priorities. We've got healthcare legislation and a whole bunch of other things that are going on. But, you've heard me say this before, it's an act that deserves to be reconsidered.

Media It's not a priority?

Attorney General Oppal It depends on what you call a priority. There's a whole bunch of things. We've got healthcare, climate control, electoral boundaries - we've got all of these things coming up in the spring time. But, yeah, it's something that should be considered. And we should be doing it. But, you know, we asked for input from the opposition who only make statements in the house and we don't hear anything further. And I've said over and over again that if you have constructive suggestions on where you think the law should move and where this legislation should go so as to make it more transparent...

Media Are you saying that you're waiting on...?

Attorney General Oppal Let me finish. I don't interrupt you so don't interrupt me. And we're quite prepared to listen to people. And so far we haven't had input from people. And, as soon as we get it, it would help us.

Media Are you saying then that you're waiting on the opposition?

Attorney General Oppal No, no, no. Not at all. We're not waiting on anyone. This legislation, Ive said before, deserves to be re-examined. The act was brought into effect in 2001 and it was passed at that time without any kind of opposition. And there were no other suggestions made at that time. So, it was the first act of its kind in the province. I think it was a good start. I think maybe...

Media Are you confident that everyone currently registered under the lobbyist registry did so on time and is properly registered?

Attorney General Oppal I can't answer that question.

Media Isn't that an important question given what's happened with Ken Dobell?

Attorney General Oppal You're asking me if other people are breaking the law and I don't know that. If they are breaking the law or breaking the regulations or violating the regulations and the spirit of the act then that should be brought to the proper authorities...

Media The information commissioner said a year ago that it was important to clarify the distinction between lobbying and influence-peddling. Well, you still haven't done that...

Attorney General Oppal That's a good point. And I agree with you. And that's something we need to exam...

Media At a leisurely pace...

Media Is it appropriate for Mr. Dobell to be on the board of LegaciesNow?

Attorney General Oppal I'm not going to answer that...

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