Edward Banayoti established the Canadian League of Lobbyists & Advocacy Professionals, the only establishment in Canada that organized lobbyists, and was born from this recognition of the stature of lobbying as a profession. Initially, the League was an unincorporated association of lobbyists who chose to meet once or twice a month to discuss issues that affected lobbyists as professionals in order to increase their skill and competency without regard to the clients or causes for which the individual lobbyists worked.
At that early stage in the League’s history, the members debated whether the League should retain the word “lobbyists” in its name. Some members feared that the opprobrium too often associated with the term “lobbyists” by media outlets and others would hinder the development of the League’s work in increasing the professionalism of lobbyists. Then, and in other instances in which the issue has been raised, League members have rejected overwhelmingly the notion of avoiding the term “lobbyist.”
Whatever its origin, the term now stands for a profession – a profession that exercises, and assists others in exercising, the rights of free speech and petitioning government embodied in the first amendment. League members determined that enhancing the standing and reputation of lobbyists lay not in a change of terminology but in the sponsorship of meetings, events, / programs and most importantly, a set of standards that enhance the professionalism of lobbyists.
From its origin, the League was open to any person engaged in the lobbying profession without regard to personal characteristics such as gender, race, or ethnicity and without regard to the institutions from which the lobbyist worked. The League represented the profession of lobbying. Thus, private lobbyists, lobbyists working for for-profit entities, lobbyists working for not-for-profit entities, and lobbyists representing unions and the labor movement joined together in the membership and on the Board of Directors. The League has been guided continuously by this notion of inclusiveness and collegiality.
Current activities include numerous meetings and presentations on public policy issues, seminars on lobbying techniques and practices, surveys of public policy professionals, representation of the profession of public policy advocacy, and most importantly the maintenance and upholding of a Code of Ethics of lobbyists.
For more information, please contact Edward Banayoti for firstname.lastname@example.org
Canadian League of Lobbyists & Advocacy Professionals
Suite 1513, 4 Robert Speck Parkway,
Mississauga, ON L4Z1S1, Canada.