Back in March, the Times Colonist's Lindsay Kines reported fixing the government's broken Lobbyists Registration Act wasn't "high on the government's priority list." Although Attorney General Wally Oppal did say his deputy had issued a position paper reviewing the legislation. So what does that paper say? Well, according to a heavily blanked-out copy obtained by Public Eye via a freedom of information request, the ministry acknowledged "the 'search' and public reporting features of the registry produce limited information." And "a frequent criticism of the province's legislation is that it does not provide the registrar with powers of...enforcement. Compliance with the Act is reliant on self-disclosure on the part of lobbyists." The government has severed sections of the paper detailing what it may do about those criticisms. Although a half-severed sentence notes "...pacity for the office of the registrar and could heighten public expectations of...forcement activity." The nine-page paper, which was still in draft form at the time Attorney General Oppal spoke with Mr. Kines, is dated December 6, 2007.
July 22, 2008