FREDERICTON (GNB) – As of July 1, members of the public will be able to see which lobbyists have registered and filed their return with the province’s first lobby registry pursuant to the Lobbyists’ Registration Act. However Integrity Commissioner Alexandre Deschênes has extended the deadline for lobbyists to file their return until Oct. 1.

“Although the lobby registry system, as it has existed since April 1, has been used successfully by many, it has come to my attention that numerous lobbyists who wish to file their return in an attempt to meet the statutory deadline of July 1 have experienced difficulties in doing so,” said Deschênes. “After consulting widely, it is my view that the lobby registry system needs further improvements to allow easier access for lobbyists and to be more meaningful for public inspection.”

Deschênes is using provisions of his legislative mandate, which allows him to maintain and establish the registry in a form he determines meets the statutory objective, to grant the deadline extension.

“As our office is still in the process of improving the system to make it more easily accessible and meaningful, I will not be enforcing the statutory deadline of July 1 for lobbyists to file a return. In the meantime, however, we will continue to work with the lobbyists who are experiencing difficulties. Our focus at this early stage of the registry system is to get lobbyists to file their returns prior to Oct. 1,” said Deschênes.

Should any of the lobbyists who have filed their return be required to file another return as a result of changes to the lobby registry, reasonable extensions of time to do so will be granted by the commissioner. The lobbyist registry is available online on the website of the Office of the Integrity Commissioner.

The Office of the Integrity Commissioner is an independent office of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick and is responsible for administering the Lobbyists’ Registration Act and Members’ Conflict of Interest Act.

Note: For information regarding the Lobbyists’ Registration Act and the lobbyist registry, please contact Rosanne Landry-Richard at 506-457-7890.