Judge concludes lobbyist wasn’t hiding anything

andrea woo/for metro vancouver


Ken Dobell addresses reporters yesterday after a judge granted him an absolute discharge on one count of failing to register as a lobbyist.

Ken Dobell received an absolute discharge yesterday after the judge called his failure to register as a lobbyist a "trivial breach" of a regulation.

"It is patently obviously that Mr. Dobell’s work for the city was not intended to be hidden, nor was it in fact hidden," said Judge Joe Gagladi. "The most that can be said is that his late registration might have had a very limited effect of delaying public access to this information."

Dobell, former deputy minister and special adviser to Premier Gordon Campbell, had failed to register while lobbying the province on a cultural precinct project and an increase of social housing for the city of Vancouver.

"I’m very pleased that the judge reached the conclusion that he reached," said Dobell. "I did not want to end my career with a conviction."

Under the Lobbyists Registration Act, the maximum penalty is $25,000, though special crown counsel Terrance Robertson had recommended a $500 to $1,000 fine.

Dobell’s lawyer, George Macintosh, said the extent of publicity the case has received has already exacted a penalty.

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