2015 Federal Election: It’s Time to Speak Up!
For many years HAC members have been contacting sitting Members of Parliament (MPs) to let them know about the importance of the tourism industry, and in particular, the lodging industry in Canada. In these meetings, MPs have often been pleasantly surprised to learn of the contribution to the local economy made by the lodging industry. Leading up to Election Day on October 19th, HAC members have the opportunity to speak up and educate candidates from every major political party on the industry across Canada and in their local community.
Why Candidates from Every Party
In the past six months, each of the top three political parties has led in the public opinion polls. The results of last May’s Alberta election even surprised some of the newly elected Members from the New Democratic Party itself who had never expected to win. As there is rarely a “sure bet” in politics, it never hurts to cover all bases by taking the time to get to know candidates from the Conservative Party, Liberal Party, New Democratic Party, Green Party and, in Quebec, the Bloc Quebecois. As an added benefit, political candidates make good business contacts for bookings and events.
Many Electoral Districts (Ridings) Have Changed
30 new electoral districts or ridings were added for the 2015 federal election. This resulted in changes to almost all riding boundaries across the country. The names of many ridings have also changed.
Checking how these changes affect you has never been easier. Find the name of your riding by entering your postal code for your property here. Also provided is best contact information for each nominated candidate in the riding in which your business is located.
Reaching out to the Candidates
When entering the postal code for your property, along with the candidate information for the riding, you’ll find data from Statistics Canada on the number of tourism businesses and tourism jobs in your riding. This enables you to highlight the positive impact of your business as well as the overall impact of the tourism industry in the area.
Where available, email addresses, phone numbers and web-sites have been provided for each candidate in your riding. This will enable you to contact your local candidates and either request a meeting or provide them with a letter by email.
If you are requesting a meeting, the best time for candidates is typically during the day. Evenings and weekends tend to be filled with door to door canvassing and events.
Telling the story
Whether in writing or in person, educate candidates on the local tourism industry and the important issue of labour shortages. Provide background about your establishment and give the candidates an idea of the role it plays in the community; for example, the jobs you provide, the economic benefit you provide to local suppliers, perhaps some of the local organizations who may meet on your premises. This can be brief but informative.
You also want to provide a picture of the local tourism industry. You’ll find the number of tourism businesses and tourism jobs in the riding (according to Statistics Canada) on your candidate page.
No matter how you choose to reach out to your local candidates, remember that there are benefits to sowing seeds now for longer term relationships down the road. We have a positive message to deliver and on that basis, a lasting rapport to build. Every person’s vote is their own but at this stage of activity it’s good to have friends in all corners.
For a copy of The Hotel Lobby to give to your candidates, click here.