To help ensure a future built with environmentally sustainable principles, it is essential that our governments' policies, by-laws and funding decisions support the health of the environment as a priority.
This is where you come in. Your opinion matters and it is important you share it with our political leaders so they recognize the type of future you want and expect for your children and for generations yet to come. Political leaders are greatly influenced by public opinion. In fact, politicians keep close tabs on the issues constituents raise in letters, meetings, phone calls and editorial pages of local papers.
Below are some tips to help guide your communication efforts along with a listing of local, provincial and federal contacts.
To read the results of the 2014 Burlington municipal election candidate eco-questionnaire please click here.
LETTERS TO POLITICIANS
One letter represents more than 1,000 opinions at the federal level. The ratio declines as you move down the levels of government. Generally, the more time and thought involved in communicating to a politician, the greater your opinion is valued.
- Letters are better mailed than faxed.
- Faxes are better than email.
- Writing is generally better than phoning.
- Something is better than nothing!
- You do not need a long, detailed letter.
- You do not have to be an "expert".
- Request a specific action as well as expressing a concern.
- If you don't have time to write out your full position, attach an article or short summary of a study that makes your point.
- Point out that the priorities the politician has expressed about job creation, human health, a healthy economy, etc., are not at odds with protecting the environment.
- Commend politicians for any good work and statements they make.
- Have fun! Get together with friends and food for a letter writing fest.
- Letters to federal politicians can be sent postage free to the House of Commons.
Taking a few moments to phone your local politician can help to elevate the importance of the issue and can make a difference when it comes to their voting and decision-making considerations. If you are unable to speak with your elected representative directly, make sure the office staff forwards along your position and specific request for action. A follow-up email or call to ensure the message was received is always a good idea too.
Face-to-face encounters with your elected officials can move him or her from taking a passive to an active interest.
- Share new information with them.
- Go with another informed person. If possible, a person who is particularly relevant for the discussion or an unexpected ally: a local business person, economist, scientist, doctor, religious or community leader.
- Be specific about what you want that politician to do.
- Make sure your request is within the jurisdiction of whatever level of government the politician is capable of influencing.
- Take accurate notes of what they say and commit to, and if they're really meaningful share them with other people and organizations.
- Narrow your discussion and stick to your point.
- Leave brief, well-selected background material (articles, a report, polling results).
- If you can't meet with your elected official, meet with his or her assistant.
- Follow up with a letter restating your position and his/her commitments (or lack thereof).
Find Your Representatives:
RepLocator is an all-in-one locator tool that provides a list of elected officials at all levels of government for your area. Simply drop a pin on your location on the map, or type it, and it will provide contact information for your federal, provincial, regional, and municipal elected representatives, along with school board trustees as well.
OR, try these links:
- Mayor of Burlington and City Councillors
- Halton Regional Chair and Councillors
- Halton District School Board Trustees
- Halton Catholic District School Board Trustees
Burlington Provincial Representatives:
Burlington Federal Representatives:
- Karina Gould, MP (Burlington)
- Hon. Lisa Raitt, MP (Milton)
- Pam Damoff, MP (Oakville North—Burlington)
Other Government Links: