Ontario allowing 'secret lobbying' amid COVID-19: critic - 2020-05-01

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F99.png Ontario allowing 'secret lobbying' amid COVID-19: critic May 1, 2020, Emma McIntosh, National Observer

The Ontario government is allowing businesses to do "secret lobbying" by inviting them to ask for temporary law changes during COVID-19, Democracy Watch says.

The Progressive Conservative government, which was elected on promises to reduce red tape, announced Tuesday it would open an online portal where businesses could ask for regulation or rule changes to help them weather the pandemic. Democracy Watch, a non-profit which advocates for government accountability, said that portal is an invitation to use a loophole in Ontario's lobbying rules, which is especially worrying given the government's temporary rollbacks of some environmental protections.

"I am very concerned," co-founder Duff Conacher said. "The Ford government has already used the coronavirus crisis as an excuse to cut some key environment-protection laws, and will likely try to cut other key big-business accountability and responsibility laws and enforcement actions to allow for more polluting, abuse of workers and communities and gouging and abuse of consumers than is already happening."

Wikipedia cite:
{{cite news | first = Emma | last = McIntosh | title = Ontario allowing 'secret lobbying' amid COVID-19: critic | url = https://www.nationalobserver.com/2020/05/01/news/ontario-allowing-secret-lobbying-amid-covid-19-critic | work = National Observer | date = May 1, 2020 | accessdate = May 2, 2020 }}