Write a Letter to the Editor
Letters are often the most read section of the newspaper, and political representatives and their aides monitor letters to understand what concerns their constituents.
By writing a letter you also inform the newspaper about what issues are important to readers. The more we submit letters about climate change, the more we send a clear message that we want this issue covered in the news. We also educate and inform the public about climate change and solutions. Click here for detailed tips.
Writing or Calling your Political Representative
Your voice is important. Often, politicians will not act unless their constituents compel them to do so. Politicians take each letter and phone call seriously. They tell us that one letter from you represents hundreds of others who feel the same way but are not bothered to take the time to write or call.
Any communication to your political representative is important. If you really want to carry a punch, write a hand written letter. It demonstrates that you took the time and energy to communicate your views, and hand written letters tend to stand out. Phone calls also carry weight. You will likely leave a message on a machine or with a polite receptionist who will record your views.
Tips to help you write a great letter
- Keep it short, precise and to the point. Be polite in all communications.
- Give your postal and other addresses at the top and be sure to date the letter, fax, or email.
- Next, write the individual and address of the person to whom you are writing.
- Make a simple salutation: e.g. Dear Prime Minister/Premier/President/Mayor, etc.
- Express your concern in a first paragraph of a sentence or two.
- State what action you want the person to take in a very succinct second paragraph.
- Ask for a reply as soon as possible: e.g. “I look forward to hearing from you very shortly.”
- Sign it with: ‘Yours sincerely,’
- Finally, print your name underneath if it is a postal letter.
- Consider copying key representatives, such as energy and environment critics from the opposition parties. Always copy your MP or MPP if the letter is not addressed to them.
- No stamp is required for letters to the PM/ M.P.’s, Senators in the Canadian Parliament.
We recommend keeping a copy of letters sent with dates, and a folder of replies received so that you can refer to the original if you don’t hear after a reasonable length of time.
It is best to be polite no matter how angry or upset you may be. However, if the reply is not satisfactory, contact the recipient again as soon as possible. You have every right to keep politely demanding answers until you are satisfied.
Your letter or other contact will have a very important impact. Imagine if thousands and thousands wrote letters too! Please, tell all your friends, and let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org how many times you have written, who you have written to, and what kind of replies you have received. Let’s get action NOW so that our grandchildren will have a decent environment in the decades ahead.
Here are some letters we have used in the past. Please feel free to download them and tailor them to your own personal taste.
The information below applies to Canada only. For those who live outside of Canada, please contact your own government for addresses.
M.P.’s in Ottawa can be reached at the House of Commons, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Emails to the P.M.’s office: email@example.com
Letters to our Prime Minister, Members of the House of Commons, and Senators do not require postage. And if you mark a letter “Private” or “Confidential” it will be more likely to get the decision-maker’s attention quicker.
A complete list of current Canadian M.P.’s can be found on Parliament’s website.