The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) is encouraging Canadian Christians to reach out to their newly-elected or returning members of Parliament with a friendly greeting as Parliament reopens November 22.
I heartily support that idea. My wife Margaret and I have attended several of our local MP’s breakfast meetings, and both he and his staff were very helpful as our church brought in several refugee families. They even helped our family with a personal matter.
Despite the fact that I have never voted for him and we disagree on some important issues, he has been helpful and receptive. In short, we have been very impressed by our local NDP MP, Don Davies.
He’s a dedicated public servant, he works hard, he’s assembled a good team and he has a good reputation in the community.
Not all MPs are as willing to entertain opposing points of view as Davies has been – but it’s a safe bet that every one of them will appreciate encouragement from their constituents.
Here’s what the EFC is asking us to do:
Contacting your MP with an encouraging message or note is simple to do, and everyone can do it. Emailing or mailing a card is free and only takes a few minutes.
“On top of the demands and pressures of their work, our elected officials face near-constant criticism, which too often comes in the form of personal attacks, vitriol and at times even threats, particularly on social media,” says Julia Beazley, public policy director for the EFC.
“We can and should recognize our MPs’ public service and thank them for it, even as we ask for laws and policies to be changed.”
It’s also a good thing to form a positive relationship with our MP before a problem or issue comes up. MPs shouldn’t just hear from us when we have complaints, however legitimate they are.
The EFC has also updated its free, online Civic Engagement Kit to include tips for engaging with MPs and senators, a guide to how a bill becomes a law and the opportunities during that process for Canadians to engage. The kit shows how easy it can be to engage with politicians, how to engage more effectively and offers step by step instructions for doing so.
“We’d love for new and returning politicians to feel encouraged in their role by Canada’s Christian community as our new Parliament finds its footing,” says Beazley.
“Writing a note of encouragement or congratulations to the MP serving your community is a simple way to break the ice and to begin to counter the tide of division and polarization in Canada.”
Download the EFC’s Civic Engagement Kit at TheEFC.ca/EngagementKit.
Send your MP a postcard
Confirm your MP’s name at www.ourcommons.ca/Members/en and mail your card to them at the House of Commons, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6. No stamp required!