Ontario Liberals defend ex-premier McGuinty's role as government lobbyist
Premier Dalton McGuinty speaks at a press conference following a meeting at Queen's Park on Monday, July 23, 2012. (Michelle Siu / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
TORONTO - Liberal cabinet ministers say there's nothing wrong with former premier Dalton McGuinty being a registered lobbyist for a company that got more than $3 million in Ontario government contracts last year.
McGuinty signed on to the lobbyist registry in late August to act on behalf of Kitchener-based Desire2Learn, which develops educational software.
Treasury Board President Deb Matthews says McGuinty waited 18 months after leaving the premier's office to become a registered lobbyist, when the rules state he only had to wait 12 months.
Matthews says what's important is the principle of transparency, and as long as people know McGuinty is a lobbyist his transactions with government will get the appropriate scrutiny.
Education Minister Liz Sandals says McGuinty has followed the rules and has every right to lobby his former cabinet colleagues on behalf of a private company.
Sandals says she hasn't met with McGuinty since he joined the province's lobbyists registry.