Hamilton City Hall's west wing Credit: Joey Coleman

Hamilton’s near-voluntary lobbyist registry contains numerous loopholes which makes it the weakest municipal registry in Ontario. For example, it states companies do not have to register if they rent or own property in the ward of the Councillor they lobbying. The rental of a postal box will fulfill this requirement. This loophole also applies to lobbying the Mayor.

Voluntary compliance by senior city staff varies. Some departments require registration before they meet with lobbyists, others do not.

As a result, Hamilton’s lobbyist registry is only a partial record of lobbying activity at Hamilton City Hall.

Former Head of Growth Planning Now Lobbying for Developers

Less than two months after retiring as the City’s powerful Director of Growth Planning, Guy Paparella is lobbying on behalf of developers at City Hall.

Paparella quickly incorporated himself as a consultant following retirement and is retained by 1507565 Ontario Inc. (Frisina Group), the owners of approximately 106 acres of land located within the Elfrida Community. They are seeking for City Council to approve their lands for new suburban development. Council is presently in the final stages of approving a new comprehensive urban plan, GRIDS 2, which is likely to involve a boundary expansion to allow some greenfield development. For developers, the Council decision means profits potentially in the tens of millions. For developers who do not receive development approvals, they will need to wait an indeterminate amount of time to realize their hoped for profits.

Someone with the deep insider knowledge and connections of Paparella is a very attractive consultant. Former General Manager of Planning and Economic Development Tim McCabe became a lobbyist shortly after retiring in 2013. Following public pressure resulting from McCabe’s lobbying activities, “senior staff” hired after 2016 are no longer able to lobbying. Directors are classified as senior staff.

Waste Management of Canada

Waste Management of Canada registered to continue lobbying all members of City Council for the coming year. Waste Management of Canada is regularly lobbying for business, and to promote their new practices and technologies. Waste Management registered two of its staff.

StrategyCorp Representing RMHC and OECM

StrategyCorp Inc, a national lobbying firm which properly registers their activities, is representing Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada (RMHC) to Mayor Fred Eisenberger and City Manager Janette Smith”regarding the ICIP COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream for Municipalities”.

Ontario Educational Collaborative Marketplace is registered as represented by StrategyCorp to meet with City Manager Smith to “Make the City aware of the products and services that are offered by OECM”.

E-Scooter Sharing Companies

Roll Technologies is the latest E-Scooter firm to register to lobbying City Council about their service. City staff are expected to bring forth a report in the coming weeks regarding the legalization of commercial E-Scooter services in Hamilton. They are based in Toronto.

Ford Motor Company is registered as well, seeking to run their SPIN/Ford Mobility service in Hamilton. Their lobbyist is former Toronto City Councillor Peter Milczyn.

Lime Technologies added their Director of Strategic Development to their lobbyists. Lime’s company name is Neutron Holdings, Inc.

SCOOTY, based in Mississauga, is lobbying the Mayor’s Office, General Manager of Planning and Economic Development Jason Thorne, and City Manager Janette Smith on their service.

Enbridge and Union Gas

Ken Hall renewed his registration as a lobbyist in his capacity as Senior Advisor Community Engagement for the energy utility.
Murray Costello, the District Manager for Enbridge, is registered to lobby both Council and Senior Management Team.

Police Body Cameras

Axon is lobbying the three City Councillors on the Hamilton Police Services Board regarding their body cameras. Axon cameras are being deployed nearby in Peel and Toronto. They hired Kim Wright of Wright Strategies as their lobbyist.

MicroTransit Busing

The Progressive Conservative provincial government is requiring municipalities to conduct a review of micro-transit. Teneo, which operates bus.com, is lobbying Mayor Fred Eisenberger and Councillors Judi Partridge and Brad Clark regarding their “alternative transportation model that supports small business operators in the bus transportation sector”.