FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government continued its commitment to be open and transparent today by introducing the Lobbyist Registration Act.

The act will establish the New Brunswick Lobbyist Registry, which will identify professional lobbyists in the province and those they represent.

"It is important for the people of New Brunswick to know who is lobbying their government and for what purpose," said House Leader Minister Paul Robichaud. "This registry was a promise we made to New Brunswickers – one that continues our commitment of being an open and transparent government."

The act will require lobbyists to register and pay a registration fee. This information will be made public so New Brunswickers will know who is actively lobbying the provincial government.

Lobbyists will be subject to fines for a variety of offences, including the failure to register; failure to provide accurate and complete information; and making false or misleading statements.

The ombudsman is expected to serve as registrar of the lobbyist registry, in keeping with the report Fine-Tuning Parliamentary Machinery: A Review of the Mandates and Operations of New Brunswick's Legislative Officers, written by former ombudsman Bernard Richard.