Why you should meet with your MP in the (hot) dog days of summer 

Perhaps you wish your Member of Parliament (MP) understood better the issues you are facing as a business owner, and how those issues are impacting your customers.  

Well, now is the time. With the House of Commons taking its summer break until September 18, your federal MP is back in your riding now, wanting to hear from their constituents.  

“Politicians care about what happens in their own community. And ultimately, they want to hear from you, as their constituent. You are the one that’s voting for them, and they want your votes,” says Alana Baker, Vice President, Government Relations & Research at AIA Canada.  

“They’re going to be very receptive to you as a constituent, talking to them about what issues you are facing, how it impacts the community, how it impacts you and your job and your employees’ jobs.” she adds. 

Right to repair is not just what is best for you as a business owner, it is what is important to consumers as well, giving them the opportunity to choose the most convenient and affordable way to service and repair their vehicles. After meeting with you, your MP might want to share with their colleagues the importance of legislation, and the different considerations across the country — like the experience of repairing or servicing a vehicle in a rural riding is very different from what a voter living in an urban centre experience. 

Your MP is spending their summer going out into the community, listening to their voters. They’re at church picnics, parades, soccer tournaments — there is a reason they call it the BBQ circuit.  

Shortly after the House returns, your elected MP and their colleagues will be discussing Right to repair as Bill C-244 continues to make its way through the legislative process. Change comes from the momentum built now, over the summer. And MPs are receptive to hearing concerns from their voters.  

Here are three ways to get their attention: 

  1. Offer to give them a tour of your shop. Getting an MP to your business will allow them to see first-hand one of the flourishing businesses in their community, and how you are making an impact. It will help them understand how Right to repair affects their voters directly. There is also an opportunity for an MP to get local media and social media coverage at your business, which they love. 
  1. Host or attend a barbecue with your MP. Having a personal meeting with your MP can have more impact than an over the phone conversation. By meeting with them face to face, your story will resonate more — and as an added bonus, when you connect with them again, they will remember who you are. 
  1. Meet with your MP. Even if you can’t get your MP to come to you, the opportunity for a meeting or even a phone call will allow you to explain why the right to repair is crucial for your business and consumers.  

“We are looking for Right to repair champions. Securing successful legal recognition of the Right to repair at the federal level will require a strong local push,” Baker says. 

The bottom line: you are not alone, and we can help you share your story. We can set up a meeting with your local MP for you, and provide you with key talking points and guidelines in advance of that meeting. 

“We can do all of the legwork,” Baker says. “We will even book the meeting. Our members just need to tell their story.” 

Want to learn more about how you can start a conversation with your MP? Contact Alana Baker at alana.baker@aiacanada.com 

At AIA Canada, we have resources for you to email your MP.