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Suggestions for writing a letter to your Member of Parliament

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Writing a letter to your Member of Parliament, the Prime Minister, or another elected representative is a very important way to convey a faith-based perspective on a particular issue. One letter to an MP is considered to represent the views of 100 people.

You do not need to be an expert on an issue to express your concerns.  Often your personal convictions or related experience are as persuasive as in-depth knowledge of an issue.  

Letters sent to elected officials in Ottawa do not require postage if sent to the following address:

House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Canada

Suggested guidelines:

  • Prepare a typewritten or neatly written letter to ensure that your letter will be taken most seriously. Faxes are next best, and can be particularly useful if time is of the essence.  E-mail messages may be disregarded.  
  • Make sure to include your name, address, and any other contact information. If you use e-mail, make sure to include your postal code to verify that you are resident of a particular constituency.
  • Keep your letter brief and to the point. It should not be longer than two pages and preferably less.
  • State the purpose of your letter clearly. If you are asking your MP to take a particular action, say so. If you are asking for a response to a particular concern, indicate this as well.
  • Give your reasons for concern about an issue. Do not hesitate to express how your Christian convictions may inform your position. Share any personal experience you may have. If it seems appropriate, mention MCC connections.
  • Use a tone that is respectful and polite. Affirm any positive action the government has taken.
  • Have someone else read your letter before you send it.
  • Make sure to send your letter to the appropriate person(s).
  • Share copies of your communication. If you write to the Prime Minister, make sure to send a copy to your MP and to leaders of the opposition parties. Depending on the nature of the issue, also consider sending a copy to your local newspaper.
  • Say thank-you. If your MP takes a position that you believe contributes to peace and justice, make sure to send a letter of appreciation.
  • Consider a group letter-writing initiative. A series of thoughtful letters to a particular MP can be an effective way of using the letter-writing tool. Having people sign their names and addresses onto a prepared letter is a second choice option.
     

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