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Toolkit

As a nurse, your clinical expertise and knowledge of the social determinants of the health affords you valuable perspective that policy-makers need to be made aware of. Our toolkit is designed to help nurses have their voices heard.

Contact the candidates and parties

Find your local candidates (information from Elections Canada coming soon)

Write a letter

During a federal election campaign, it’s important to have your voice heard and to inform the political parties of your recommendations and thoughts as a voter. Sending a letter to a political party is a popular way to express your thoughts.

We’ve made letter-writing easy for you!

  • Download this letter [DOCX, 16.2 KB] that we’ve drafted for you. You can modify it with your name, the recipient’s name and anything else you may want to change.
  • Write your own letter from scratch. We’ve got some helpful tips below and a template [DOCX, 15.5 KB] that can help you get started.
  • Send your letter via regular mail or email.

Letter-writing tips

  • Keep a copy of your letter so you can compare it to the response you receive. This will help you evaluate how thoroughly the party considered and responded to your concerns.
  • Send copies of your letter to any other individuals or organizations you think may be interested in your cause/concern. This helps create a domino effect of action and advocacy.
  • Send a brief note to thank a party if they respond. This demonstrates that you are respectful but, more importantly, engaged with the issue and willing to keep the dialogue going. A follow-up letter is an opportunity to express your ongoing observance of the issue and to remind the party of your request(s) and/or the commitment(s) they have made.
  • Be aware of the language you use – letters that are seen as rude or inflammatory are less likely to motivate a thoughtful response from a political party and may, in fact, lead to a more perfunctory or dismissive response.

Engage political candidates

Remember: political candidates want to hear from you because you’re the expert on health care.

If you’d like to speak directly with candidates, we’ve got a few tips to get you started. Remember, your elected federal officials are in office to represent you. You’re entitled to reach out and talk to them about the issues you care about, whether they pertain to your own riding or the nation as a whole.

Be sure to attend meetings where candidates will be present. These events can include rallies, community events, debates and CNA-led town halls. You may even run into them at your grocery store.

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your interactions with political candidates:

  1. Know your stuff. During a campaign, you never know when you’ll run into a candidate – at a neighbourhood event, grocery store or on your very own doorstep. Take some time to prepare two or three priority issues you can speak about with candidates. Or, if you’re short on time, simply print off our election platform [PDF, 622.9 KB] so you can inform candidates of our identified priority issues.
  2. Be concise and direct. Be ready to get your ideas across in just a few minutes. You’ll also have a bigger impact if you can generate a discussion, which you can do by asking open-ended questions that encourage the candidate to tell you more. If you ask whether your candidates support more assistance for family caregivers or making medications more affordable, that will usually only get you nothing more than a resounding “yes.” Instead, ask them open-ended questions like how they and their party will assist family caregivers or take action to make medications for affordable.
  3. Get face time. Contact your local campaign offices for an appointment with the candidate or their staff. Be persistent and follow-up if you don’t get an immediate response. Arm yourself with our election platform [PDF, 622.9 KB] to help communicate the issues and evidence clearly. Feel free to leave copies behind! Your local candidate’s information will be available on Elections Canada’s website.
  4. Work the scene. Check with your local campaign offices and CNA’s election website, under the events tab, to find events, town halls, webinars and debates near you. These events are great opportunities to meet your candidates and ask questions and find out how they’ll act on your priorities. Don’t forget to tweet with our #CNA2019 while you’re out and about!

If you have any questions, contact us at govtrelations@cna-aiic.ca.

Join the conversation

Go public on Facebook and Twitter and see what others are saying. Don’t forget to use #CNA2019