News

Dalton McGuinty 'followed the rules' joining lobbyists' registry at Queen's Park

By Antonella Artuso, Queen's Park Bureau Chief

Former premier Dalton McGuinty. (Dave Thomas/Toronto Sun)

Former premier Dalton McGuinty. (Dave Thomas/Toronto Sun)

TORONTO - 

Dalton McGuinty followed all the rules when he registered as a lobbyist on behalf of a Canadian educational technology firm, Ontario Liberal cabinet ministers say.

The ex-premier is a part-time senior adviser to Desire2Learn (D2L), an Ontario company that has previously received $3 million from the Ministry of Education.

Education Minister Liz Sandals said she hasn’t met with McGuinty since he registered but has routinely bumped into representatives of Desire2Learn, which has a great reputation for educational software.

The ministry has been funding D2L for years but there is no particular connection to the former premier, she said.

“To the best of my knowledge, (McGuinty) has followed the rules,” Sandals said Wednesday. “I don’t think you can pick out this particular company as being different than any other topic he might register to lobby on.”

In a statement, McGuinty said he arranged a briefing between D2L and senior education bureaucrats, and he registered as a lobbyist out of an “abundance of caution,” although the company later cancelled the meeting.

D2L was founded by University of Waterloo entrepreneur John Baker 11 years ago and currently employs more than 800 people, the statement said.

“As schools around the world introduce more technology into learning, I want them to use our made-in-Ontario technology,” McGuinty said. “Our competition in this is almost exclusively U.S. based. I want schools everywhere and especially our own schools to use D2L products because that creates Ontario jobs.

“And because D2L is better than anybody else at making technology that supports the latest thinking about how to improve learning.”

McGuinty resigned his provincial seat in June last year, and the waiting period required of political office holders before they’re allowed to register as a lobbyist has expired.

Treasury Board president Deb Matthews said she doesn’t see a need to extend that cooling-off period beyond one year for former MPPs.

“As long as we’re open about it and transparent about it... I think we’re in good shape,” she said.

McGuinty’s statement does not describe his activities as lobbying, but says he acknowledges that he must sign onto the lobbyists’ registry to arrange a meeting.

“Mr. McGuinty, as a private citizen and business person, will always ensure that he conducts himself in a transparent and forthright manner,” the statement says.

Poll

Lobbying rules are:


Reader's comments »

By adding a comment on the site, you accept our terms and conditions


Featured Businesses

Go to the Marketplace »