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Why Make a Phone Call?

Making a phone call might be the fastest way to get an answer to your query. It gives you an opportunity to engage directly with your MLA, or their assistant. On the phone, you will make an immediate connection and ensure that the matter is properly heard.

Who to Call?

You might consider calling your MLA’s office. You can browse the list by postal code. The role of the MLAs is to act as the voice for their constituents. Contacting them might be the most effective and fastest way to express your concerns or support for a bill. You can also contact an assistant of the relevant minister.

Tips for the Call

Have a Clear Idea and Message for the Call

  • Identify yourself as a constituent and introduce yourself briefly.
  • Narrow down your idea to one per call.
  • Write down a few talking points.
  • Keep your points short but allow follow-up questions and have resources available.
  • If you need clarification, ask.
  • Good Model: State the issue, support it with evidence, and ask for a specific action.

Prepare Facts and Arguments

  • Research the issue first.
  • Look into what other jurisdictions, provinces, and territories have done to advocate for this matter.
  • View PAA Fact Sheets to see if applicable.
  • Write out arguments and counterarguments.
  • Think ahead to what the MLA’s response might be and prepare for both agreeable and disagreeable reactions.
  • Use credible local or Canadian data to prove a point.

Request an Exact Action

  • This request can be as direct as to ask the MLA to either support or not support a bill.
  • You may request a meeting or a new phone call on the matter.

Be Persistent but Courteous

  • Feel like your question was not answered? Rephrase the question, provide examples.
  • Remain calm and avoid emotional arguments.
  • Do not personally attack anyone, or threaten to withdraw your support.
  • Avoid going off on a tangent or ranting; you will lose the MLA’s attention and interest.
  • Thank the MLA or representative for their time and support collaboration on the issue.

Resources

  • PAA Effective Advocacy with Elected Official webinar presentation slides – download
  • PAA Effective Advocacy Tip Sheet – download
  • PAA Advocacy Toolkit – download
  • Example of Access Advocacy in relation to Extended Health Insurance Providers – download
  • APA Call to Action – download
  • CSAE letter template for Parliamentary Secretaries re: funding for Canadian Associations – download
    • Parliamentary Secretary contact list – download
  • Framing C19: Making a Powerful Case for the Role of Government – download
  • Alberta Counsel – on twitter @albertacounsel; visit their website; subscribe to their e-newsletter The NEWS.
    • Alberta Counsel. (2020 March). Alberta’s Pandemic Response – Aggressive and Deliberate. The NEWS: Alberta’s Premier Review of Politics and Government Vitality, Issue 103. – download here
  • APA – Combating Bias and Stigma Related to COVID-19 – download here
  • PAA’s Advocacy Work 2020 Advocacy