Your Member of Parliament (MP) is your federal representative. Part of their job is to listen to and speak with their constituents so they can better represent them in Parliament. So make your voice heard!
This short guide outlines simple steps you can follow to arrange a meeting with your MP about regulating banks’ funding of fossil fuels and have it be a smashing success.
STEP#1: Find Your MP
Check out the www.ourcommons.ca to find your federal Member of Parliament.
Once you’ve got their contact info, you can learn more about their roles and affiliations. The more you know about them, the better you can direct your concerns. Find out what statements, commitments or positions they have made in the past that could be useful to reference in the meeting (e.g. “You previously said that climate change is the defining issue of our time…”). You can contact us if you’re looking for more information on your MP, and you can also do your own research and dig deeper!
STEP #2: Arrange for a meeting
Requesting a virtual or in-person meeting might feel like a big step, but it’s effective and can have great impacts. You can either:
- Call their office, indicate that you are a constituent and that you are calling to request a meeting to discuss Motion 84, which is about how to align Canada’s financial sector with our climate goals. A staff person in your MP’s office may offer to meet with you if the MP is not available.Say yes and take advantage of the opportunity! It will allow you to express your concerns to the staff person, who will pass along your information to your MP.
- Email them, using this template.
It is more likely that you’ll obtain a meeting with your MP by calling their office instead of emailing them, since MPs receive an absurd amount of emails.
STEP #3: Be Prepared!
Write to us to express your interest in meeting your Member of Parliament. We’ll help you prepare and, if possible, match you with members of the Greenpeace team or other volunteers.
Here are some tips and suggestions for your meeting.
Before the meeting
- Prior to the meeting, verify the start time and the amount of time you have for the meeting.
- We highly encourage you to bring someone along, including to help take notes. You could also ask to record the meeting instead of taking notes. In many ridings Greenpeace staffers are available to join – contact us!
- If the meeting is on Zoom, consider setting up an communications channel, such as a signal chat, online (google, framapad) doc open for participants to communicate live privately with each other (e.g. to say “Claire, can you ask this question next?”).
- Read and print this backgrounder document to help you discuss the subject.
- Bring this flyer or other material you’d like to share with them.
- Assign the main points to participants to convey you’re an organized group and to avoid one person speaking the most (e.g. Claire is going to be the one to introduce the reasons we want banks regulation, 30s-1min pitch, then Louis will introduce the 30s ask, then over the course of the convo, Matilda will elaborate on what’s been done so far on the motion, etc).Practice this in advance!
During the meeting
- Briefly introduce yourself and others. Express a general thank you for agreeing to meet with you.
- Confirm how much time you have with the MP at the start of the meeting. MPs are often very busy and usually can allocate no more than 30 minutes to a meeting, so don’t be disappointed if this is the case.
- Be flexible and be respectful of the MP’s time; they may have to cut your meeting short if their schedule is particularly busy, so be gracious about whatever time you are able to secure with them.
- Suggest taking a group picture ;
- We want to be able to hold the MP’s accountable, so taking that picture is a proof that the meeting and the conversations happened;
- (e.g. “Before we forget — and it’s happened before that we’ve forgotten — could we get a quick picture out of the way?” *pause 5 seconds for yesses* “Ok, everyone smile!” *take 5 super quick screenshots so you get at least one where no one’s blinking*)
- in the unlikely case the MP says no (and you’re meeting in person), take a picture after in front of their office.
- Explain why you want them to support regulating banks to support our climate goals.
- You don’t need to get into details, but it’s a good idea to use this backgrounder document as a supporting document.
- Ask the MP to speak out publicly in support of regulating banks to align finance with the Paris climate agreement. They can do this by signing on as a co-seconder of Motion 84 or, by making a public statement (including via social media).
- Make sure you make time to listen to the MP. You want to hear what intel they have, what motivates them, what they care about, their read of the situation, and learn how your follow-up communications can be most impactful.
- If it feels appropriate, ask the MP for advice for what you can do to help move this motion along.
- Recap any action items to be completed after the meeting, including follow up meetings, introductions to other people or resources, or any other commitments agreed to during the meeting.
- Thank the MP and their staff for the meeting. Ask them to do a follow-up with you to check in on the action items you’ve discussed (e.g. making a statement in support of motion 84 on social media).
After the meeting
- Follow up. Send a thank you email after the meeting that confirms the key points of what the MP said or agreed to (e.g. “Thank you for meeting with me yesterday and agreeing to do a social media post in support of regulating banks to align the financial sector with the Paris climate agreement.”) Try to keep it concise (something like 250 words max). Send the MP and their staff any materials they would like to see.
- Post the picture you took of the meeting on your social media and tag us (@greenpeace_canada) and your MP! Don’t forget to add hashtags:
- #FossilBanks #FossilBanksNoThanks
- Complete the tasks to which you committed during the meeting.
- Let us know how it went! We’d love to hear what the meeting was like for you, what the MP agreed to, if they made any positive statements or commitments. Please answer the questions in this short follow-up survey.
- Pat yourself on the back — you just successfully spoke with a decision-maker!
Any questions? Problems pop up along the way? Reach out to us at email@example.com. We’re here to help!
Ask your MP to regulate fossil banks
Tell your MP to #TakeCashOutOfCarbon by adding your name to this petition.