I grew up in a family where both my parents ran in provincial and federal elections. Politics was a regular topic of dinner table conversation and my folks are still heavily involved with politics to this day. As a child, during every election campaign I would help my parents deliver leaflets, or go with them to the campaign offices while they phoned constituents. I grew up in such a political household that when I was in kindergarten and asked by my teacher to come up with a rhyme I proudly replied "Brian Mulroney rolls the dice and Canada pays the price!" *Facepalm*. Anyways, all this is to say that I take it for granted that I have an innate understanding of how the political system works. At the last BHA pint night that I attended on the 28th of June, I realized that for those who didn't grow up in politics, it is a confusing system and I should take the opportunity to break it down.
In Canada, we have 3 branches of government; Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. We also have 3 layers of government, Federal, Provincial/Territorial, and Municipal.
Without going into too much detail about how it all works, what is important to know is that they are all responsible for different things. If you are interested in getting involved with advocacy it is important to be contacting the correct ministries and politicians for it to be effective.
Most hunting and angling issues are provincial, so most of what I am working on is by contacting my local MLA Judy Darcy where I live now in New Westminster (Her office is a 10 minute walk from my house), Minister Doug Donaldson (Responsible for hunting and non-tidal fishing), and Premier John Horgan. I have had success with emails, letters, and phone calls.
For hunting, angling, and conservation issues, here is how it breaks down.
|Federal Ridings in Greater Vancouver|
Canada is divide into 338 ridings each represented by a Member of Parliament (PM) in the House of Commons and 105 seats for the Senate held by Senators. BC has 42 ridings and MPs in the House of Commons and 6 Senators. 23 of BCs ridings are in the the Lower Mainland (Region 2)
To find your riding any of the following links will take you to maps where you can find out who represents you. They will have an office in your neighbourhood and split their time between your riding and being in Ottawa. You can send them mail, email, or call their local constituency office in our neighborhood to arrange a time to discuss issues with them. You can also go there in person during the hours they are open.
The Queen (rep. Governor General), the Prime Minister (Justin Trudeau), Cabinet (Ministers)
Parliament which is made up of the House of Commons and the Senate
Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeal, Tax Court of Canada, Supreme Court of Canada
Who to Contact About Federal Issues:
The Prime Minister
(Justin Trudeau <firstname.lastname@example.org>)
The Minister Responsible for the Issue
: One of
Dominic LeBlanc email@example.com
Catherine McKenna <firstname.lastname@example.org> or <Catherine.McKenna@parl.gc.ca>
Ralph Goodale <email@example.com> or <Hon.firstname.lastname@example.org>
Your Local Member of Parliament (MP)
(You'll have to look it up)
A Senator from BC
1) Species At Risk Act (SARA):
This is legislation to allow the federal government to take control of the management of a species which is at risk of going extinct if the provinces aren't doing a good enough job. Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada can use SARA to protect fish, wildlife, and habitat.
2) Tidal Angling:
Fisheries and Oceans Canada manages all tidal angling, fish stocks, and license. The minister responsible is The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc.
3) Migratory Birds:
Environment and Climate Change Canada manages migratory bird hunting and licensing. The minister responsible is The Honourable Catherine McKenna.
4) Firearms Licensing and Regulation:
RCMP which is under Public Safety Canada. The Minister responsible is The Honourable Ralph Goodale.
Provincial (British Columbia)
|The Provincial Riding Boundaries in Greater Vancouver|
BC is divided into 87 ridings. Each riding is represented by an Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) who is your local representative in the government. Their job is to represent the issues that matter to the people who live in their riding. 48 of those ridings are in the Lower Mainland (Region 2). Since most hunting issues are provincial and since most of the ridings are in Region 2, those of us in the Lower Mainland have the power to change and shape how wildlife management and habitat conservation happens more than the entire rest of the province combined. We have a responsibility to advocate since our region holds the most sway.
To find your riding any of the following links will take you to maps where you can find out who represents you.
They will have an office in your neighbourhood and split their time
between your riding and being in Victoria. You can send them mail, email,
or call their local constituency office in your neighborhood to arrange a
time to discuss issues with them. You can also go there in person during the hours they are open.
The Queen (rep. Lieutenant Governor), the Premier (John Horgan), Cabinet (Ministers)
the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia
Provincial Court, Provincial Court of Appeal
Who to Contact About Provincial Issues:
(John Horgan <email@example.com>)
The Minister Responsible for the Issue:
Doug Donaldson <FLNR.Minister@gov.bc.ca>
George Heyman <ENV.Minister@gov.bc.ca>
Your Local Member of the Legislative Assembly
(MLA) (You'll have to look it up)
1) Hunting, Fresh Water Angling, Forests, Lands, Natural Resources, Rural Development:
Conveniently, that is the ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development. The minister in charge is Honourable Doug Donaldson.
2) Environment & Climate Change:
Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. The minister responsible is Honourable George Heyman.
Municipal (Your City or Town)
1) Noise bylaws and No Discharge bylaws: Mayor and Council.
Who to Contact About Municipal Issues:
The Mayor and Council