Forming Relationships with Policy-Makers

Building relationships with decision makers puts you in a good position to advocate for change.  By getting to know your representatives—your MP, MPP, MLA, MNA, city councilors or mayor—and building a reputation of credibility, you can open doors for the future.  Below are some ways to develop positive relationships with your elected representatives.

Building Relationships

  • Invite your representatives to events that relate to your cause.  Show them that there will be thoughtful dialogue, and that neither they nor their parties will be verbally attacked.
  • Attend events where your representative will be speaking.
  • When you contact your representative about an issue that concerns you, follow up later on the progress made or lack thereof.
  • Read the local paper and constituent brochures to find out what your representative is doing.
  • Engage in thoughtful dialogue with your representitive, and show that you want to help them do their job.
  • Avoid taking an adversarial tone or engaging in adversarial actions, as this may compromise your ability to have an impact, both now and in the future.
  • If you support your representative, get involved politically by volunteering and campaigning for them or working in their local office.
  • Make sure that you say “thank you” or “well done” when the representative does something that you like.

Finding Contact Information for Representatives

  • Find your MP’s contact information using your postal code. 
  • Go to the website of your province (e.g. alberta.ca) to find your representative in the provincial legislature.
  • Your municipal elected officials can be found through the website of your city, town,
    or township.
  • Contact information for government officials can also be found in
    the Blue Pages of your local phone book.
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