In Canada, MPs and Senators are key contacts for changing Canada’s policy on humanitarian disarmament issues. They are also supposed to represent you and your views so let them know what you are thinking!
HOW TO CONTACT YOUR PARLIAMENTARIAN:
In Canada, you can find contact information for:
- Your MP by going to www.ourcommons.ca/Members/en and typing in your postal code.
- Senators in your area by going to www.sencanada.ca/en/senators-list/. Once there, you can see which Senators are in your area by filtering the list by Province.
DIFFERENT WAYS TO APPROACH YOUR GOVERNMENT
There are several different ways you can let your government hear your voice on this issue:
- Send an email, letter or tweet detailing your concerns and the actions you want taken.
- Book a face-to-face meeting with your MP or local Senator. Go alone or with other constituents to discuss your concerns.
- Call and let your concerns and request for action known to staffers. Also take the opportunity to ask about the official position on the issue.
WHAT TO PREPARE BEFORE YOU MAKE CONTACT
Before you make contact with your government official – whether by email, phone or in person – it is useful to prepare yourself ahead of time by outlining a short case statement:
- Background: a couple paragraphs on the facts and history of the problem
- Core issues: note the main areas of concern are currently and why it needs to be addressed now. Tell them why you personally care about this issue!
- Recommendations: Specifically what action is being requested and how it will address the problem.
KEY POINTS TO MAKE
On landmines and cluster munitions:
- Landmines and cluster munitions are lethal barriers to development.
- Canada should finish the job on landmines and cluster munitions.
- One dollar per Canadian per year to mine action projects around the world will save lives and return Canada to a global leader on landmines and cluster munitions.
On explosive weapons in populated areas:
- When explosive weapons are used in populated areas over 90% of the casualties are civilians.
- Policy and practice change can save lives and protect civilians during armed conflict.
- Canada should be working for a strong international Political Declaration that increases the protection of civilians in conflict by avoiding use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas
- Parliamentarians should join the International Network on Explosive Weapons’ International Parliamentary Appeal.
On fully autonomous weapons:
- A majority of Canadians are opposed to fully autonomous weapons.
- Canada needs to ensure that our investments in artificial intelligence are not tainted by the development of fully autonomous weapons.
- The Minister of Foreign Affairs has a mandate to advance international efforts to prohibit fully autonomous weapons but Canada has not yet spoken up.
On nuclear weapons:
- Nuclear weapons put us all at risk. We are not equipped to respond if nuclear weapons are ever used again by accident or intention.
- Canada should join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in accordance with our stated goal of nuclear disarmament.
- It is possible to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and belong to NATO.
- Parliamentarians should join the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons’ Parliamentary Pledge. Use this template email to ask them to join.