MLA Meeting Process

Resources

REQUEST A MEETING

    Below, you will find a sample meeting request letter to contact your MLA.

    You should personalize this, as government employees do not review template letters with the same level of care.

    Your MLA cannot refuse a meeting with you (but sometimes it can take a long time to nail it down).

    If you drop by your local MLAs office, you may find it easier to set a date and time with their Constituency Assistant. 

    If you would like senior staff from PABC to accompany you, please let us know.

    PREPARE AN AGENDA

    Before you meet with your local elected official, please take a few minutes to review the enclosed meeting guide (Appendix C) that will assist with your preparation.

    When speaking to the elected official, be sure to tell them exactly what you want.

    The most effective one‐on‐one technique requires emphasizing your specific requests.

    Following this, the elected official can then discuss what previse actions they can take to help achieve our goals.

    TAKE NOTES AT THE MEETING

    Once you have concluded the meeting, please fill out the debriefing questionnaire (Appendix D).

    Sample Meeting Request Template

    Resources

    {Insert MLA NAME}

    {Insert date}

    Dear {MLA Name}:

    As a constituent in your riding and a {physiotherapist/physiotherapist assistant} in your community, I would like to take the opportunity to share with you an alarming change made by Pacific Blue Cross insurance that will have significant impact on British Columbians access to physiotherapists.

    Although PBC claims to not have made changes, they have recently begun auditing physiotherapists for treatment that was previously fully compensated by PBC benefits programs and clinics are being asked to pay back significant sums, despite having followed all of the standards set by their College.

    In addition, patients who were not directly billing through a clinic, have received notices that they must pay back formerly approved amounts, sometimes in the $15,000 range.

    As a result, many clinics have had to lay off support staff, reduce the number of available appointments, or consider options including paying expensive legal fees, or worse, considering bankruptcy.  Some clinics have already closed.

    Many patients are frustrated that they are no longer able to receive the physiotherapy treatment that keeps them in the workforce – most notably, we are hearing from nurses, many of whom rely on physiotherapy to ensure they are able to function in a physically demanding role. 

    We cannot afford to reduce health services at a time when the healthcare system is already under significant pressure and we are seeing shortages of healthcare providers in every profession.

    I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you in person to discuss this issue. I can be reached by phone at {insert phone number}, and by email at {insert email}. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Sincerely,

    YOUR NAME

    Tips for Meeting with Elected Officials

    Resources

    1. Most elected officials and government representatives will schedule you for only 15‐ 30 minutes, so be brief and to the point. If you are joined by others, decide beforehand on a principal spokesperson to outline the main points. The remaining participants can comment at any time to offer background and other useful information. Make sure you leave time for questions and discussion.
    2. Begin your meeting by thanking the elected officials for taking the time to meet and discuss these important issues.
    3. Introduce yourself by giving your name and title, as well as the profession you represent.
    4. Outline briefly the purpose and aims of your meeting.
    5. Note that you will be reporting the results of your meeting to PABC.
    6. Feel free to share personal anecdotes during your meeting. Elected officials can be very receptive to personal stories.
    7. Summarize the main points on the issues you are raising. If they want further information, they should contact the PABC CEO aburton@bcphysio.org or 604-762-4743
    8. Request to have a photo taken of your meeting with the elected official, and share it with PABCC. Don’t be shy about this most MLAs want photos for themselves to share their advocacy with their constituents and stakeholder groups.
    9. Complete the debriefing questionnaire (Appendix D) after the meeting and return it to admin@bcphysio.org.