Ottawa lobbyist receives 30-day lobbying ban on Council. Harder case
OTTAWA – Horizon Ottawa is calling for a “longer and stricter” lobbying ban for an Ottawa consultant as part of the Council’s fallout. Jan Harder Integrity Case.
Jack Stirling, chairman of the Stirling Group, is banned from lobbying at City Hall between August 3 and September 2 after admitting to breaking the rules.
Integrity Commissioner Robert Marleau contacted Stirling on July 29 to inform him that he was in violation of the Lobbyists Registry By-Laws and the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct.
In a compliance agreement with the Integrity Commissioner, Stirling admitted that his company provided free services to a board member between November 2019 and February 2020, while he was registered as a lobbyist. Stirling had three active lobbying files with the City of Ottawa.
Stirling also said he was “now aware” that he had violated the lobbyists registry regulations by placing a public office holder in a perceived conflict of interest.
In June, Harder resigned as chair of the planning committee after the Integrity Commissioner found she had violated the council’s code of conduct.
Marleau ruled that Harder’s relationship with Stirling and his daughter had “tainted” the city’s planning and development process. The Integrity Commissioner discovered that Harder hired Stirling’s daughter to work in the adviser’s office and contracted his company.
Horizon Ottawa calls the ban a “little vacation” for Stirling.
“We’re encouraged that Stirling has admitted to wrongdoing, but a small 30-day ban, when no meeting takes place, won’t do much and shows that City Hall is not serious about tackling the perception of developer influence in town hall, “said Sam Hersh, Horizon Ottawa board member.