Your Guide To Engaging Candidates

WHERE TO FIND YOUR CANDIDATES

Get to know your local candidates and engage with them during the campaign. Engaging directly with candidates is an important opportunity to pose a question and find out where the candidate/party stands on issues that are important to you.

You can find out who the candidates are for your riding by visiting the official party websites at:

Liberal Party
Conservative Party
New Democrat Party
Green Party
Bloc Quebecois

If you are unsure of the name of your riding, you can find out by doing a simple postal code search through Elections Canada here

KEEP TO KEY MESSAGES

The following are some sample talking points meant to help guide your engagement with candidates/canvassers. Don’t worry about using these exact words. Rather, it’s important to understand and keep in mind the main points behind the messages, then express them in a way that is natural for you. Getting familiar with what you want to say ahead of time will help make sure your messages are clear so you can make the most effective use of your engagement with candidates.

  • Massage therapy has benefits for patients’ physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing and helps them maintain productive lives. It is not a luxury.
  • Registered massage therapists are an important part of a patient’s health care team, working closely with allied health care providers to meet the needs of patients.
  • Patients value the benefits of massage therapy and see it as an important part of their health care.
  • Services provided by other regulated health professionals, such as chiropractors and physiotherapists, are already exempt from HST/GST. It is unfair to massage therapy patients that RMTs have to play by a different set of rules. 
  • Exempting massage therapy from the HST/GST will make its well-documented physical, mental, and emotional benefits more accessible and widely available to Canadians who need them.
  • If massage therapy receives HST/GST exemption, all the savings will go straight to patients.
  • RMTs are qualified, educated, and regulated health care professionals whose expertise provides significant savings to the health care system while improving patient care outcomes.

WAYS TO ENGAGE

Candidates want to hear about the issues that are important to their constituents. There are many ways to engage candidates, so you can choose the one(s) that work for you. By raising issues and building relationships during the campaign, we can identify champions for our cause and lay the foundation for our future advocacy after the election is over.

Social Media

More and more, issues are brought to the broader public attention—and the attention of politicians—through social media and most representatives/candidates have a strong online presence, especially on Twitter. To engage candidates online in a relevant and open dialogue, tag or mention them using their official social media handle, which can generally be found through a quick online search. As with any audience, know your key messages and stick to them.

Letters and E-mails

Personalized letters or e-mails can be an effective tool for change. You can write directly to representatives and candidates to voice concerns as well as share insights for how the issue is relevant to the broader community and to constituents. If you’re unsure of how to start or what to include in such a letter, we will be providing a sample along with other engagement tools and resources in our next communication. Remember: whether sending a letter or an e-mail, keep it formal and courteous, include your name and address, and be sure to ask for a reply.

One-on-One

In-person encounters are one of the best ways to establish a relationship and open a dialogue with candidates. During campaigns, candidates or their campaign staff (canvassers) often go door-to-door to speak with constituents. This is a great time to raise your issue and ask questions on the candidate/party’s commitment to the issues that matter to you.   

Town Hall Meetings and Public Events

Attending town hall meetings or other events hosted or attended by candidates offers you a chance to engage with your candidate in a less formal setting. Although these encounters are casual, don’t forget to remain courteous and respectful and to come prepared with the key messages you want them to hear.

To help you to engage, we will share some sample questions and social media posts as well as a sample letter in our next election series post.

DO’S AND DON’TS

DO DON'T

Prepare by doing your homework and knowing the key messages you want to deliver.

Make partisan statements or endorse a candidate on behalf of the RMT/ACT cause.

Be courteous and respectful when speaking to candidates and canvassers—regardless of their political party.

Limit your engagement to only one candidate or political party.