Advocacy Toolkit

Hosting a Pre-election Meeting

An event during the election campaign can be a great way to discuss important issues with candidates and educate members of your community. You can structure the meeting in various ways, including a roundtable discussion, a town hall meeting or a debate.

Read More »

Advocacy Toolkit

Useful information on different methods of advocacy. Read more

Read More »

A man looking at a smartphone screen

Using Social Media

Social media is here to stay.

The use of social media in Canada today shows a powerful trend among the population. People of all ages are increasingly using social media daily.

In 2012, according to 6S Marketing:

  • 80% of Canadians (27.4 million people) were connected to the Internet
  • 64% of Canadians had a social network profile
  • 79% of Canadians did not leave home without their mobile device

Read More »

Meeting with young people

Engaging Younger Generations

Younger generations should be seen and heard. In fact, they are citizens with rights and responsibilities in Canada, and their unique perspectives should be considered.

The question is: How can younger generations engage in advocacy?

Including the younger generations in advocacy requires responsible discretion, but excluding them from all advocacy activities is not the answer. Empowering them to exercise their rights and responsibilities means creating spaces where they can voice their own concerns and recommendations to decision-makers. This includes advocating on behalf of themselves and on behalf of others.

Advantages of Involving the Younger Generations in Advocacy

  • Increases dignity, fairness, and equality for children and youth.
  • Adds a new perspective that adults may not have.

Read More »

Tools for Education

The Blanket Exercise

KAIROS Canada and the Aboriginal Rights Coalition worked with Indigenous elders and teachers to develop this tool to learn about the relationship between the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal (especially government) community. The exercise uses blankets to represent the lands (what is now Canada), and the distinct First Nations that remain in Canada today. Participants represent the First Peoples. There are various scripts available for adults/teens and children. Get more information and access The Blanket Exercise resources from KAIROS Canada.

Read More »

Writing a letter

Writing a Letter to a Cabinet Minister

See a sample letter (WORD | PDF)

Depending on the policy or concern, you may want to send a letter (or e-mail) to a cabinet minister. Your MP may not be fully aware of the issues you are concerned with and they may have less influence over the policy. You should consider who the best contact is for the issue or policy you are concerned with. If you have an issue with policies affecting the Aboriginal community, you should contact the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. If you are concerned about refugee and immigration policies, you could contact the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. Your issue directs you to contact the best government official.

Read More »

Public meeting

Organizing a Public Meeting

A public meeting can help you to gain support for your cause by educating other members of your community.  It can also catch the attention of the media and decision-makers.  It is a forum for interaction, for discussion of alternative viewpoints, and can provide an opportunity to question a public official. 

You can structure the meeting in various ways. The format is up to you and depends on who will be there and what you will discuss. Here are some ideas:

  • Roundtable discussion: involves a group of people discussing a specific topic. Those included in the discussion agree that each person has an equal right to participate.
  • Town hall meeting:  an informal meeting for those in a specific community to voice opinions and ask questions to public figures.
  • Debates: focused on two sides of a particular issue. Each group takes a position and they explain why they are correct about this issue. This can be useful for understand different perspectives. 

Read More »

TV interview

Working with the Media

Working with the media is an important component to any advocacy strategy.  It can increase public awareness and can also catch the attention of elected officials.   You may find yourself engaging with the media through writing press releases and letters to the editor, or by offering information to a journalist.  The media may also contact you for an interview.  It’s important to know how to approach the media and how to get your voice heard through newspapers, television, and the radio.

Approaching the media

  • You should approach newspapers first because TV and radio journalists often get their stories from the newspaper.  They are also able to go more in-depth on a topic.

Read More »

Writing a Press Release

SAMPLE PRESS RELEASE (WORD | PDF)

A press release provides information to various sectors of the media concerning a newsworthy topic or event.  It is a great way to get information to the public.  It should be short and should catch the attention of the news editor.  You can send it by email, mail, or fax.

Writing a Press Release

  • HEADLINE: Begin with an eye-catching headline.  Keep it short and to the point.  You can include a subhead too, which expands on your headline in a few more words.

Read More »

Calling Your MP

A quick phone call to your Member of Parliament’s office can be more effective than writing a letter in some cases.  As a constituent, you may be able to speak to your MP directly (rather than speaking with their staff).  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.

Speaking to a member of the MP’s staff can also be very effective. They will have the time to hear your position and they will be able to relay your concerns to the MP.

Read More »

Get updates by subscribing to JusticE-News, CPJ's e-newsletter