Contact your Member of Parliament (MP)

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by | Published , updated Jul 5, 2024

Take action by writing to your local Member of Parliament (MP).

Your MP was elected to bring your opinion and views to Parliament. They depend on you to educate them about what issues should be considered most important.

Writing an email or letter doesn’t take long and it ensures that the people who make decisions on your behalf know how you want to be represented.

Here’s how to do it:

Confirm that the federal government is responsible

Confirm that the federal government is responsible for the topic you’re contacting them about here: Which government is responsible?

Letters (may) get more attention than emails, and personalized emails more attention than form letters or templates.

Find your MP

How to write a letter to my MP?

Structure

Use the EPIC format The acronym ‘EPIC’ is a useful way to remember how to structure the main part of your letter. After the introductory paragraph, your letter should follow this structure:  

  • – Engage! Get your MP’s attention with a dramatic fact or short statement.  
  • P – Problem clearly stated. Present the causes of the problem you just introduced.  
  • I – Inform them about solutions. Develop your solution by giving examples of how and where it has worked, how it is cost-effective and how it has benefited Indigenous Peoples.
  • C – Call to action. Let them know what you want them to do about it.  

What to include

  • Include your name and contact information.
  • Introduce yourself as a constituent – representatives tend to put much more stock in letters from inside their municipalities
  • State your objective or the issue and whether you support or opposite it at the beginning.
  • Follow with a brief introduction outlining your concerns.
  • Give a short explanation of how the issue affects you personally. Describe your interest in and any experience you have with the issue.
  • Include facts and figures to support your argument.
  • Ask questions that prompt a response. Ask for clarification on your councillor’s position.
  • Request a commitment to a specific action, and give rationale for your request.
  • Thank them for any positive action they have taken in the past on your issue.
  • Thank them for their time, and remind them you will be discussing the matter with your neighbours, and voting to support the issue at hand.
  • Mention specifically if you want a written response, then follow up with them in two weeks if there has been no reply.

Tips

  • Be concise. Try to keep the letter to one page and do not exceed two pages.
  • Focus on one issue and stay on topic, emphasizing two or three major points.
  • Try to make your letter personal by including your own experiences.
  • If you have more information to share, include any materials in the envelope or attach it to your email.

What approach will get the most attention?

In general, from most likely to get attention:

  1. Phone call
  2. Mailed letter
  3. Personalized emails
  4. Form/template emails
  5. Social media posts and messages

One phone call can be more effective and memorable for an MP if you show that have some knowledge about the issue, that you respect their time, and that this issue is important to their constituents.

Letter to MP template

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, Province, Postal Code]
[Email Address]
[Phone Number]

[Date]

[MP’s Name]
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada
K1A 0A6

Dear [MP’s Name],

I am writing to express my deep concern about the escalating grocery prices in Canada. As a constituent, I urge you to take a more bold and proactive stand to address this critical issue that affects the daily lives of Canadians across the country.

The recent surge in grocery prices has put a significant strain on families, especially those with lower incomes. Basic necessities like fruits, vegetables, and proteins have become increasingly unaffordable, making it difficult for many Canadians to provide nutritious meals for their families. This situation has also placed a heavy burden on local food banks, which are struggling to meet the increased demand for their services as more individuals and families turn to them for assistance.

I urge you to push for concrete actions to address this issue, such as:

  • Conducting a thorough investigation into the factors driving up grocery prices, including supply chain issues, market competition, and pricing strategies of major grocery chains.
  • Implementing measures to increase transparency in pricing and ensure fair pricing practices across the industry.
  • Exploring options to support local food producers and retailers to provide affordable and accessible food options for Canadians.

It is crucial that the government takes decisive action to address the root causes of rising grocery prices and ensures that all Canadians have access to affordable and nutritious food.

I urge you to use your position to advocate for policies that will alleviate the burden of high grocery prices on Canadians. Your leadership on this issue is critical, and I hope to see meaningful progress in the near future.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

If you’re an organizer, consider creating a template letter that others may use and customize.

Tips

  • Keep it short – aim for your letter to be no longer than one and a half pages
  • Stay on topic – focus on one issue and do not try and cover too many things in one letter
  • Include your address – this way, your MP knows where to send a response.  
  • Check your MP’s correct title – do you address them as Mr., Mrs., Dr., Sir, Rt. Hon.? 
  • Keep a copy of the letter you send to refer to it when you receive a response
  • Try your best to educate your MP on the issue you are raising. Even if your MP is not the direct target of the action, your letter provides them with an opportunity to learn about an issue, that concerns their constituents, and to act themselves. Find articles or other resources from credible sources that can help you highlight the issue you are focusing on in your letter.
  • There will be occasions where it is more strategic to write directly to other decision-makers, such as the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, the Minister of Indigenous Affairs, or the Prime Minister. Check to see if these decision-makers are responsible for the action you are focusing on. If they are, it is important to look up steps on how to get your letter to these leaders. 

Ask for a response

Most MPs will usually respond to letters from constituents and will forward your letter to the relevant Minister, even if they disagree with you. In turn, the Minister is obliged by Parliamentary convention to respond to the letters sent to them by MPs.

It’s free to mail a letter to your MP

Mail can be sent without postage to and from:

  • Member of Parliament
  • Members of the House of Commons (see the Parliamentary mailings using Neighbourhood Mail™ section
  • The Governor General
  • The Speaker or Clerk of the Senate or House of Commons
  • The Parliamentary Librarian or the Associate Parliamentary Librarian
  • Members of the Senate
  • The Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner or Senate Ethics Officer
  • The Director of the Parliamentary Protective Service
  • The Parliamentary Budget Officer

The mail is sent for free if both the sender and receiver are in Canada.

Copy the Prime Minister, Ministers, Parliamentary Assistants, and Critics responsible for the issue

What to do next

  • Share on social media – Share your letter on social media.
  • Word of mouth – Speak to persons in your circle such as colleagues, friends, and family to encourage them to participate in these actions.
  • Follow up with your MP If you have not received an acknowledgement of your letter after a few weeks, give your MP’s office a ring to confirm that they have received your letter.  

Sources

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