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Ramara Township hires Strategy Corp to lobby Ontario government

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In Agencies
Feb 15th, 2021
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Screenshot of lobbyist’s website.

By Michael Douglas Concerned Citizens of Ramara

Why would municipalities like Ramara Township need to be spending taxpayer dollars on registered lobbyists to lobby their interests to the Ontario government? Wouldn’t the interests of municipalities already be a focused concern and priority of the Ontario government, that would thus be readily responsive to the wishes of municipalities?

First, we hire the bureaucrats who resist talking to us, then our representatives, who are supposed to be in charge, hire people to get the bureaucrats to talk to each other.

Here’s a link to the Monday, February 8th, Ramara Township council Zoom meeting on YouTube.

The proposed Rama Road Corridor development is discussed for about 10 minutes starting approximately at the 2:40 mark and running until about the 2:50 mark.

A noteworthy disclosure is Ramara Township’s plans to hire a lobbyist to promote the proposed Rama Road Corridor development and get provincial decision-makers to look favourably on the prohect. The discussion of Ramara Township hiring a lobbyist (Strategy Corp) occurs during the 10 minutes of the council meeting dedicated to the Rama Road Corridor development.

The following is an example of how the concept of lobbyists hired to lobby government has created an exploitive environment where commercialized interests are strongly influencing interactions with government, which is also now showing up in intergovernmental relations.

A recent article by Emma Paling in HUFFPOST reports on the Advocacy group Democracy Watch asking a court to overturn three decisions by Ontario integrity commissioner J. David Wake, arguing the commissioner allows unethical lobbying by connections to Premier Doug Ford and his ministers.

“Dozens of people who have helped or worked for Doug Ford or his Cabinet ministers or the [Progressive Conservative] PC Party have set themselves up in lobbying firms and, even though many of them have never lobbied before, big businesses are hiring them because they know it will get them inside access to Ford and his ministers,” said Duff Conacher, co-founder of Democracy Watch,.

Is this a prudent use of taxpayer dollars when many municipalities such as Ramara Township are consistently complaining of budgetary problems?

More importantly is this hiring of lobbyists by a municipality to lobby the provincial government simply another way the voice of residents is gradually becoming marginalized, and replaced by mutually lucrative unilateral communications between governing bodies, which serves to undermine our democracy?

See also:

Ramara mayor urged to correct the error, withdraw the MZO

Ramara MZO application: undemocratic and environmentally foolish

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