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Phonepen_and_paperhandshake

 

 

There are many different ways for your voice to be heard. This article will lay out some of the different ways you can communicate with the government and which are best suited for your issue.

 

 

1) Write the MP (Member of Parliament) for your area.

An MP is supposed to represent the views and issues of the people for the area they reside over.

Start out your communication by writing a letter using the format given below.

 

 

Mr. John Smith, MP
House of Commons
Parliament Buildings
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6

Dear Member of Parliament:

The Honorable John Smith, PC, MP
Minister of _________
Houseof Commons
Ottawa,Ontario, K1A 0A6Dear Minister:

 

When writing there are a few key things to keep in mind that will help make your letter more effective.

 

  • Clearly state the subject of your letter and be brief and direct, addressing only one issue per letter.
  • Make sure you are polite and courteous, do not threaten them. Remember that there are many other issues they have to deal with.
  • Make sure you are not using false information, double check to make sure you are using truth.
  • Use facts and do not be argumentative or be led by your emotions.
  • Personalize your letter using examples of how the issue will affect your own community. Also, hand written letters are more highly regarded than something that is pre-printed. If allowed, use the stationary from your business or organization.
  • Be inquisitive and ask the MP for their opinion on the subject. Expect a reply even if it’s just a general letter.
  • Share your knowledge and views on the subject, and put the bill number of the issue if applicable.
  • Discriminate between issues, and only write about issues that are really important to you, so that your message doesn’t appear watered down.
  • Be open to being contacted and provide a way for your MP to reach you.
  • Remember to be thankful and to show gratefulness for what they do for you.

 

 

If some time has passed and you have not received a response, you can follow up with a phone call. This shows initiative and that the issue you are bringing forth is important to you.

 

 

2) Visit the MP office for your area.

 

Remember that your MP will be busy with a lot of responsibilities. Don’t be surprised if your MP is not available to speak with you. However, take advantage of the opportunity to speak with the staff. Make sure you are courteous and clearly state your concern(s). The MP relies heavily on his staff to assist in accomplishing tasks, as well as receiving feedback from them.

Take this opportunity to draw on the knowledge of these individuals as they are trained and well versed in many issues.

 

 

3) Call your Member of Parliament.

 

If the time about an issue is growing short, you may need to call them instead of writing.

The principles for calling an MP are very similar to writing them a letter. You need to be courteous, direct, informative and brief. You need to be considerate and patient. They may have just spoken to someone else about a completely different issue.

Before you give them a call, you should be prepared. Have some notes written down ahead of time, so your purpose is clear. You will also want to have any relevant Bill numbers handy so you can mention them.

 

When you call their office, it’s possible that they may not be available. If this is the case, ask to speak to their assistant that works on the issue you are concerned about. This is often just as effective. If their assistant is not available, leave a message such as: This is John Smith from The Board of Directors of _________ and I would like to speak to you about ________ issue.” Then leave a phone number.

If they do not get back to you after a reasonable period, of time, keep calling. Remember that they’re busy and receive allot of phone calls, so you might just need to keep trying.

 

You can reach your Member of Parliament by calling The Government Public Information office in Ottawa and ask them to connect you with your MP:  (613) 992-4793.

 

4) Arrange a personal meeting with your MP.

 

 

 

Before the meeting:

 

  • Call to make an appointment.
  • Call in advance as it can take weeks to get an appointment.
  • If your MP is not available, take the opportunity to meet with their assistants as this can be very effective as well.
  • Ensure that there is clarity on the time and place of the meeting.
  • Before the meeting, prepare all of the information on what you want to discuss and practice all that you want to say so that you are prepared.
  • Prepare a paper with extra information for the MP that they can read afterwards if applicable, this may help save some of the meeting time.  However, do not give it during the meeting but rather at the end, as this can be a distraction.
  • The day before the meeting, confirm the time and place again.

 

During the meeting:

 

  • Be punctual.
  • Allow extra time in your schedule in case the MP is running late.
  • Be respectful and courteous.
  • Be aware of their time and do not go over the time allotted.
  • Be clear and direct on the issues you want to speak about.

 

After the meeting:

 

  • One week after the meeting Send a thank you note or call their office to thank him for taking the time to meet with you.

 

 

5) Ask friends or Family to Call, visit, or write on important issues as well.

 

 

6) Write a petition.

 

There are specific guidelines that need to be followed to write a public petition. You can find more information at:

http://www.parl.gc.ca/marleaumontpetit/DocumentViewer.aspx?Sec=Ch22&Seq=3&Language=E

 

 

 

7) Remember to thank your MP when he votes in your favor, don’t just contact him to complain or come against what they are doing. This can be done through a written letter or phone call.

 

 

 

8) If you receive a reply to a letter or phone call with specific questions, be sure to answer them.

 

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June 10, 2014 at 1:56 pm by admin
Category: Articles