MPP meetings with Fridays for Future

JustEarth held a training session for F4F young people in July, on how to lobby. Now we have four MPPs willing to see us, meaning JustEarth with F4F people. We also need people with experience meeting with an MPP or MP. Please help!!!

The following times have been offered. Please say if you can attend any (one, two?) of these meetings. They usually are about 30 minutes, in the MPP’s constituency office. We normally meet at a café nearby first (to get our act together). JustEarth can provide a written statement to take. This is a great opportunity to encourage young people who have demonstrated and struck for climate action to move to actually talking with elected representatives, the people who vote on the issues.

Suze Morrison, MPP Toronto Centre (office 329 Parliament St.):
either Sept. 13, 11 am or 12 noon, or Sept 23, 2 or 3 pm.

Jill Andrew, MPP Toronto St Paul's (office 803 St. Clair Ave. W.)
Sept. 18, 2:00-2:30 pm or Sept. 19, 11-11:30 am.

Chris Glover, MPP Spadina Fort York (office 226A Bathurst St.; N. of Dundas St. W.)
Fri. Sept. 20 12 noon; Tue. Sept. 24 or Wed. Sept. 25 at 3:30 pm.

Faisal Hassan MPP York South Weston (office1965 Weston Rd, Weston Rd. and Lawrence Ave. W.)
Sept. 23 10 am, or 10:30 or 11 am.

It is obviously good to see your own MPP, but this is NOT required. So, if you would like to take part in an MPP meeting, these are good opportunities. We aim to discuss the need for a comprehensive climate action plan, with adequate, science-based targets, and ask particularly about policy on CARBON TAX.

Lobbying 101

MPs are normally VERY nice to meet with. They consider it their duty to meet with constituents and many are willing to meet with NGO people on issues. The risk is not that an MP will be nasty, but will be too chatty and engaging (on subjects other than climate change).

Team leader. Each group needs a designated team leader, normally someone with lobbying experience. That person organizes the meeting and introduces the members on arrival at the constituency office. Someone should be designated to take notes. (We do not tape meetings, so if anyone wanted to, make sure the MP is agreeable to this.) The constituency assistant will likely sit in on the meeting. Take a picture with the MP before you leave; sometimes the MP asks for a picture.

Plan ahead. Each group should confer before seeing the MP, even half an hour before the meeting, to agree on who will raise what points.

Bring some background information. The group should bring a piece of paper with the names of the participants, and some talking points. A brochure of JustEarth (or whatever your organization) can be handy to explain who the sponsoring group is (if appropriate, mention other groups of the delegates).

Timing. MPs usually allow a half hour, or 45 minutes for a meeting. Keep track of the time. Make sure that you have raised key points before it is time to leave. Some MPs are happy to prolong the meeting - an hour is not unusual (so, don’t be pressed to get elsewhere, just in case).

Be Positive. Points raised should include, normally lead with, something positive that the government has done. We will also raise challenging points and negatives (pipelines). We cannot expect Liberal MPs to agree with us, publicly at least, on matters the government has decided otherwise (authorizing pipelines), but we can say we want them to know that many Canadians, certainly environmentalists want strong action.

Acknowledge that the climate crises is tough to deal with!

The flow of the meeting. The group should focus on the main issues, but be open to the direction going elsewhere (so long as on climate change!). The MP may have some particular knowledge or have done something on it, or have particular concerns that need answering.

What if you do not know the answer? If you cannot give a reasonable answer on the spot, undertake to get back to the MP. We will assist!

Propose a town hall on climate change. Given that the issues are not well known, we encourage MPs to hold a town hall on the subject.

Thank yous. Thank the MP and constituency assistant on leaving, and send a thanks later, a paper letter is appreciated!, or email, at least. Be sure to include the constituency assistant, assuming he/she was helpful (usually they are).

Report. Write up and circulate a brief report on your meeting (JustEarth will post them)..