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#fixaid

f-throne-speech584On Oct 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th, EWB chapters and networks across the country will be hosting “phone-ins” where people will telephone Member of Parliament (MP) offices at their nearest riding, requesting that we want to see substantial reforms to Canada’s foreign assistance this year.

October 16th 2013 is when members of parliament return to the house of commons. That day, the Harper Government is expected to give the throne speech. There will be lots of analysis happening and the subsequent reaction to the speech will be covered by national media. Our intention is to influence the reaction to the throne speech, having Canada’s foreign aid become a topic of discussion within the house of commons.

A telephone conversation is a direct, low resource way to engage MPs in the quickest way possible. In some cases, a phone call to a MP’s office can be even more effective than writing a letter. As a constituent, one phone call can stick out in an MP’s mind if you can demonstrate being knowledgeable, that you respect his/her time, and that this issue is important to you.

MP offices are required to listen and take action from concerns that constituents raise. Internally, MP offices typically have certain thresholds should they need to respond to various issues. If riding offices receive 25 calls to their offices about one particular issue, the office will contact the MP and will subsequently need to raise it within the house of commons. Our intention is to match or exceed this threshold, and in turn recommend a course of action, that which we’d like MP’s to take.

Leverage and Window:

October 17th 2013 is the U.N. recognized, International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Many countries offer statements and we can use this opportunity to embark upon a monumental push in garnering public attention.

Goal:

Our aim is to have at least two chapters per province hosting a MP Phone-In session. Once 25-30 calls have been received by the nearest MP Office – mission accomplished. Our goal is to have MPs raise the issue of foreign aid reform within the house, and refer our policy recommendations to ministers Baird, Paradis, and party critics.

What are we saying in a nutshell:

  • Welcome back to parliament.
  • Why we are calling.
  • Why foreign aid is important.
  • Three-point plan in reforming foreign aid.
  • Request that idea be presented in the house once parliament resumes business coinciding with the international day for the elimination of poverty on October 17th 2013.
  • Request MPs refer the issue to minister Baird, or minister Paradis. In addition, request that MPs refer the issue to their own party critic.

For an easy-to-follow scrip, please follow the ling below for MP Phone-In Talking Points.

https://docs.google.com/a/ewb.ca/document/d/1yPMgCqVJaIez_AOOFpw8QZXrI_t3dF6n_lBwqiH5bBg/edit

 

To find your Member of Parliament and their office’s phone number, use this site and enter your postal code.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parlinfo/Compilations/HouseofCommons/MemberByPostalCode.aspx?Menu=HOC

 

Following Up:

After each conversation follow-up with your MP via Twitter!

To find your MP Twitter handle – check out Poltwitter this is a neat tool in which you can track all tweets and facebook posts from political parties. You simply need to enter your chapters postal code, or the name of the MP.

Each tweet you send should include all of the following:

  1. @EWB – to refer back to the organization and EWB’ers can retweet.
  2. @HonJohnBaird – we have to let our Minister for Foreign Affairs know.
  3. @christianparad – we also have to let our Minister for International Co-operation know.
  4. #fixaid – the hashtag we’re using to to track our events’ reach across Canada and synchronize and track our communication.
  5. #cdnpoli – a high traffic hashtag for any political news.

You can also repurpose these sample tweets:

Permanent link to this article: http://edmonton.ewb.ca/fixaid/