Calling your MP
Calling the constituency office is a simple, quick and personalized way for a citizen to express their concerns about poor environmental regulations to their representative. It is a significant action that allows you to be heard by the person who acts as your representative.
Some tips for calling your MP
- Find the telephone number of the MP you want to call.
- Be inspired by our sample questions to ask your MP
- Prepare your arguments. They should be relatively short, precise and clear. It is best to discuss one issue only. It will have more of an impact.
- Contact your MP and ask to speak to him/her. Don’t be frustrated if they cannot speak to you personally and asks that you speak to an assistant. Treat the assistant with the same respect and courtesy. This person can be in a position to advance your cause.
- Remember to always be courteous and respectful, even if you do not share the same opinion as the MP.
During the call:
- Introduce yourself: first name, last name, city, town, riding, etc.
- Mention that you are calling to discuss CEPA reform.
- Present information that explains why the law is no longer adequate and does not protect us enough.
- Ask about the MP’s position on the subject.
- At the end of the call, ask what action and commitments the MP will take.
- Don’t forget to thank your MP for taking the time to speak with you.
Sending a letter or email to your MP
Simply sending a message is a good starting point to convey your concerns to your political representatives and to seek concrete commitments from them. It is also a way for our politicians to assess the public interest in CEPA reform or any other issue. We must never forget that these messages are important and will be recorded in the offices of our elected officials.
Standard templates are provided in our toolkit: "A Citizens’ Toolkit for Effective Participation"
Sample letter to be sent to your MP
Dear (NAME OF MP),
As a citizen of your riding, I am writing to express my concern about the lack of action on the reform of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA). This legislation is the foundation of environmental regulation in Canada and is in great need of reform.
The Canadian Environmental Protection Act is to environmental regulation what the Labour Standards Act is to workers’ rights. This is the basis on which all other regulations are developed. Just as the Labour Standards Act clearly establishes what constitutes a normal work week, how overtime should be paid, what is paid leave or sick leave, etc., CEPA defines in black and white how toxic substances are defined, how they should be controlled, how marine environments should be protected from land-based pollution, fuel requirements and engine emissions and much more. It provides the nuts and bolts necessary to protect the environment around us.
In 2017, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development released its comprehensive study of CEPA, noting that “exposure to toxic substances causes thousands of premature deaths each year and millions of preventable diseases. The study explains how exposed we are to ever-increasing levels of pollution, and then describes the steps needed to reform CEPA to modernize it to protect human health and the environment in our world.
Even if our most fundamental law for the protection of the environment is outdated, we have the roadmap we need to fix it. Scientists, doctors, health groups and environmental groups agree that we know what needs to be done to reform the law.
My question for you is whether we can count on your support to reform CEPA?
I (our group) would like to meet with you to discuss the environment and CEPA reform. I (we) will be happy to come to your office at your convenience. In the meantime, we have attached a CEPA fact sheet that provides more information.
I (we) look forward to meeting you and hearing your views on CEPA reform.
Using social media to contact your MP
How to find your MP's social media accounts
Many MPs can be contacted through Twitter, Facebook and other platforms. They usually have their own websites.
Finding your MP's social media accounts is easy:
- Go to https://www.ourcommons.ca/members and type your postal code to find your MP.
- Click on the name of your MP to be taken to the page with information on their ROLES, WORK and CONTACT.
- Click on the CONTACT tab. If your MP has a website, it will be listed as one of their contact details.
- Click on the link for their website. Their Twitter and/or Facebook icons should be listed in their Contact Us/Get in Touch section. Click on them and you will be immediately directed to their social media pages where you can follow them, ask questions or react and comment on their posts.
If your MP does not have a website, you can always find their social media accounts simply by using Facebook and Twitter search engines. Just use their full name as the key word for search. Similarly, you can just type the name of your MP in Google followed by Twitter and/or Facebook.
Use these platforms to bring your MP's attention to CEPA reform. Show your concern, support your questions with information on how CEPA reform is crucial for protecting Canadians from toxic exposures on a daily basis. Always be polite.