Canadians will head to the polls in September after Gov. Gen. Mary Simon, on Sunday (Aug. 15), approved a request from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to dissolve parliament and launch an early federal election.
With voting day set for Sept. 20, the campaign now gives Trudeau 36 days – the shortest possible election period under federal law – to set up a bid for re-election.
In response, the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA) has launched a new campaign called “Survival: Phase II” to make support for the travel industry an election issue.
“Now more than ever, ACTA is urging members to engage in grassroots advocacy efforts by meeting with Members of Parliament, all candidates, and other decision-makers to ensure sectoral support for travel, tourism and travel agent issues becomes an election issue,” said Wendy Paradis, president of ACTA, in a release. “This election provides a unique opportunity for us to elevate our message.”
The federal election provides a “unique opportunity” to elevate the industry’s need for extended financial aid, ACTA noted.
“In addition to requesting and participating in meetings with your local MP and election candidates, writing articles for local newspapers and repurposing ACTA messages on social media is critically important to this effort,” Paradis added.
Politicians will be looking to their constituents closely during the election period and these “grassroots” communications have a real impact on what they see as election issues, ACTA said.
The association said it is working with other travel and tourism associations on this effort across Canada.
The goal, ACTA said, is for the associations and their members to have 1,000 meetings per week between now and Sept. 20.
“This means that our sector – travel agencies and travel agents – need to have a combined minimum of 150 meetings between now and election day to do our part. This work is critical in ensuring travel, tourism, and travel agent business survival is an election issue,” said Paradis.
To support travel agency owners and travel agents in executing Operation Survival: Phase II, ACTA is providing two tactics:
- Providing members with key notes for meetings and a template email/letter to engage politicians and other decision-makers;
- Launching the Advocacy Meeting Reporting Tool.
The Advocacy Meeting Reporting Tool is important as it allows members to report their meetings to ACTA quickly and online, which will keep ACTA informed of all activity and allow them to engage targeted and more effective advocacy work.
ACTA said it will acknowledge members who use the reporting tool by entering them in a draw to win a $500 Visa gift card.
In addition, members are invited to contact Avery Campbell, advocacy and industry relations specialist at ACTA, for further support at email@example.com.
Additional initiatives will continue to be released by ACTA over the coming weeks when the election ramps up, the association said.