01/11/2012 02:53 EST | Updated 03/12/2012 05:12 EDT

New Brunswick to partner with Nova Scotia for a shared lobbyist registry

FREDERICTON - The New Brunswick government is looking to partner with neighbouring Nova Scotia to create a shared lobbyist registry.

A spokesman for Premier David Alward says the required legislation will be introduced in the spring session of the legislature.

Jesse Robichaud says Nova Scotia created its registry of people who try to influence public policy 10 years ago.

He says about 70 per cent of the groups on Nova Scotia's registry — including banks, insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies — also operate in New Brunswick.

Robichaud says both provinces are spending about $30,000 each to develop a new software system.

He says partnering with Nova Scotia will save hundreds of thousands of dollars versus the cost of starting a stand alone registry for New Brunswick.

The Alward government initially introduced legislation last spring, but put it on the back burner.

Robichaud said the government wanted to co-ordinate with Nova Scotia, and was awaiting a review of legislative officers by former ombudsman Bernard Richard.

Richard recently suggested that the lobbyist registry come under the responsibilities of the ombudsman.

Currently New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island are the only two provinces without a lobbyist registry.

Alward promised the registry as part of his campaign platform.