Team up with others in your area
·    Put together a team of people who know the issue(s).  It would be ideal if they have first hand experience, i.e. having been directly affected themselves.

·    Make a list of MPs/Senators in your area and divide up lead responsibility for requesting meetings.  If possible, it is good to have someone at the meeting who lives or works in the MP’s constituency.  If you simply want to visit one particular MP, that is great too.

Call the politician’s office to ask for a meeting
·    To find out the name and phone number of an MP’s constituency office, go to:
You can also call Reference Canada at 1-800-667-3355.

·    Call the politician’s constituency office and say that you would like a meeting as it is Refugee Rights Day, and you would like to discuss some of the issues of concern to your group.  Try to get at least 30 minutes for the meeting, but in any case make sure you know how much time is booked for you.  If possible, try to meet in March/April.

·    See the sample letter attached, if you want to send a follow up letter (this may have useful language too for a phone call explaining the request for a meeting).

Plan the meeting
·    Once you have a meeting date, figure out who can go.  For a meeting of 30 minutes or less, you may not want to have more than 3 people in the delegation (just the introductions can take up a lot of time).
·    Make sure you explain it is the 20th anniversary of the Singh decision, and why it is an important decision for refugee rights.  Then you may want to raise some of the ways that Canada does and does not respect refugee rights.
·    Make sure you have at least one person on the delegation who is comfortable discussing any of the issues you are focusing on.
·    Consider including in the delegation someone who is or has been personally affected by one of the issues.  This is a very effective way of making the problems real and allows refugees to speak on their own behalf.
·    Decide in advance who is going to say what.  Plan your remarks carefully and be selective.  You can’t hope to communicate everything.  It is better to leave the MP/Senator with a few clear messages, than to be confused by too much information.
·    If possible, find out in advance a bit about what the MP/Senator has done or said relating to refugees and immigration.

Follow up
·    Send a letter to thank the MP/Senator for the meeting and include any further information that was discussed at the meeting.