Ontario

ENGAGING WITH MUNICIPAL CANDIDATES IN ONTARIO

Municipal council elections will take place across Ontario on Monday, October 22, 2018. As a natural part of the election process, candidates for Mayor and Councillor positions in areas across the province are speaking with voters, to understand the priorities of residents, and to communicate what their own intentions would be if they are elected.  

Members of the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue industries are strongly encouraged to arrange introductory meetings with candidates in their municipality before October 22nd, 2018.

This is an important and natural opportunity for members of our industry to connect with these local decision maker, to understand their perspectives, and communicate how our industry can be affected by the decisions of local government.

These conversations will often be relatively short, pleasant, and introductory in nature, however they are important in order to build relationships that will be built upon in the future. If you already have a relationship with a particular candidate, it is an opportunity to refresh their understanding of the presence and impact of our industry in the community, the province, and the country.

Here are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions on this subject:

When is the election?

The general local elections in Ontario take place Monday, October 22nd, 2018.

How do I know who is running, and find information about them?

Your own municipality will likely have an elections section of their web page.

Here is an example from the City of Ottawa, Ontario:

They have a page about the election overall, with information about dates and deadlines, locations, voting process, and other important information:

https://ottawa.ca/en/city-hall/your-city-government/elections

Within that page, they have a list of all the candidates, both for Mayor and for Councillor, and a way to contact each of them:

https://ottawa.ca/en/city-hall/your-city-government/elections/information-candidates/certified-candidates-2018-municipal-elections

Not every municipality’s website will be this well organized. If you can’t find such a page, the next best place to look would be on the website of the main newspapers in the community. They may have an election section with lists of candidates and contact information.

If neither of the options above work, option three is simply to try a Google search for the name of your municipality and “election candidates.”

If you continue to have no success, feel free to contact Adam De Caire, Director of Public Affairs for HPBA Canada at [email protected] for support.

It is a good idea to get a bit of background on a candidate, such as their profession and past experience. This can help with conversation, but is not imperative if the information is difficult to find.

How should I reach out to candidates?

There are a number of ways to be in touch with a candidate:

  • If they have a campaign phone number listed online, you can call and ask for a brief meeting.
  • You can also walk in to a campaign office and put in the request in person. If you arrive late on weekdays, or early / late on weekends, you may connect with the candidate straight away.
  • You can send an email to request a meeting or call. If you do not get a response within 48 hours, you will need to follow up.
  • If you see candidates at public events, you can say hello and request the meeting.
  • If there are all candidates debates publicized, you can attend, say hello before or after the event, and request a brief meeting.

What is the benefit of speaking with candidates for municipal government?

Elections are a natural opportunity for members of our industry to connect with these local decision maker, to understand their perspectives, and communicate how our industry can be affected by the decisions of local government.

In most cases, this will be a high-level introduction. Just a get-to-know-you meeting. However, it is important because it may help these decision makers to think of our industry down the road when relevant issues come across their desk. And if you need to reach out to them later on, on a specific issue, you have already established a connection.

What should I discuss with candidates?

    • Tell candidates about your business. Let them know you create and sustain jobs in their community.
    • Let them know about any other involvement you, your employees, and your company have in the community. Tell them a little about the products you make, distribute, or sell.
    • Offer them a tour of your business, at a time that is convenient to them, after the election.
    • Let them know that you are available to them, and ask that you hope to be part of the discussion if the municipality is looking at doing anything that will affect small business, or particularly your business, such as regulations relating to the installation or use of your products.

HPBA Canada has created a one-page fact sheet about the industry you can share with candidates, and use to spark the discussion.

What types of questions might candidates have of me?

They will likely ask you questions about yourself and your business that you are quite comfortable answering. If they happen to ask you something more broad about the industry and you don’t have the information on the spot, let them know you will follow-up with a short email to them. Contact Adam De Caire, Director of Public Affairs for HPBA Canada at [email protected] for any support you need on this front.

Is there anything I should take with me?

HPBA Canada has created a one-page fact sheet about the industry you can share with candidates, and use to spark the discussion.

Is there anything to do after the meeting?

If possible, you can share some info with HPBA Canada about the meeting, so that we can keep track of all the discussions taking place province wide.