With all the debate, ‘consultation’ and now changes in provincial liquor policy, many of our members have come to us looking for a way to get involved and tell their Political Leader what these changes have meant for them as consumers, small business owners and citizens.
With the help of Chad McCarthy of VanBrewers, we have put together a short How-To for writing your MLA. There are many ways to get involved in changing these unfair and harmful policies, and here is one that we hope you will utilize. Keep in mind that these are some very broad ideas and elements you might want to include in your letters. There are likely many pieces that we are missing, but instead of providing a form letter, by writing your own letter it will stand out and create a greater impact. Feel free to include the below points or look to our advocacy page for ideas.
When writing a letter to your MLA, there are some key elements that will help make your voice heard and not have your letter delegated to the archive (shredder).
First off, you need to know who to send your letter to. You can find our which provincial riding you are register to vote in by following this link (https://www.leg.bc.ca/mla/3-
Christy Clark (BC Premier, “modernizer” of BC liquor laws)
Suzanne Anton (Attorney General, minister in charge of BC liquor)
David Eby (MLA for Point Grey, Opposition Spokesperson for Liquor Policy).
Make sure that you are addressing these individuals by their proper title.
Be clear and to the point. Explaining what changes you want and how you have been impacted. You will want to explain that you are a responsible and reasonable drinker (and voter) who wishes to see the success of the craft beer culture in Vancouver. The liquor policy changes have personally harmed you, the consumer by charging more, be it through the minimum ‘happy hour’ pricing, the higher retail prices or limiting access to BC craft beers and spirits.
Follow up your letter. By regularly sending in a letter on a two week schedule, you are helping prevent the issue from falling to the wayside and be ignored. The following letters can be based on your first letter, reiterating your points.
Always document your responses. If you email a copy of your letter to CAMRA BC or your CAMRA branch, it will help us in our efforts to collectively fix these policy chances and create a coherence force behind our advocacy campaigns.
Both paper letters and emails are useful when writing a letter to your MLA. If you email the letter, try to save it as a PDF, sign it and attach it to a short “please see attached” email. The signed PDF will carry more weight. Similarly, if writing a paper letter, make sure you sign it.
Finish your letter by explaining how these changes have affected not just your purchasing, but also your political support. This will have a stronger impact than merely documenting your dissent to the liquor policy changes.
Hopefully some of these elements will help create a more effective letter, and one that will help turn the wheels of an updated liquor reform that actually benefits the consumer. Speaking up lets the government know that they can’t get away with these unjust taxes and policy reforms. There are many ways to work towards these changes and here is one for you. Feel free to send me an email at email@example.com for any more information on writing a letter or anything related to CAMRA Vancouver Advocacy.
PO BOX 9041
STN PROV GOVT
112-2609 E. 49th Ave
2909 West Broadway
CAMRA BC, Vancouver Branch Vice-President