Directing our Advocacy
Who To Advocate To
Who you advocate to depends on the issue you are involved with. Does your issue fall within federal, provincial or local jurisdiction, or some combination? For example, a school-related issue may require you advocating to both your provincial representative and your school board representative.
Once the question of government jurisdiction has been settled, finding the most appropriate person to deliver your message to will be the next challenge. Some options may include:
Senior government politicians
- These could include Premiers or Ministers (Health Minister, Education Minister, etc.). They would be targets for a letter or as part of a larger campaign.
Local political representatives such as your local MP or MPP/MLA
- They would be your targets for in-person meetings and more direct advocacy. As you are their constituent and a voter there is a greater incentive for them to take your position seriously. Note, there ability to directly change laws would be impacted on whether they were a member of the government or a member of an opposition party.
- All elected officials have staff members to assist with their scheduling, to advise them on policies, to liaise with community groups and help run their offices. Because politicians are often very busy, it is sometimes easier to meet with these political staff members. If they can be convinced to support your issue they can be very influential in getting the support of their boss (the MP, MPP/MLA, etc.).
- There are also many people who work for the government in non-partisan positions, collectively and commonly known as the bureaucracy. While elected politicians are ultimately accountable for government actions, some decisions may be taken by bureaucratic staff working in the various government departments (health, education, etc.). It may be advantageous at times to know who exactly in the bureaucracy is responsible for which files.
If you do not already have existing relationships with all of your local elected representatives, we suggest you contact them and introduce yourself and the issues that are important to you.