Preparing for a Meeting with Government

Do Your Research

  • Who exactly are you meeting with? Who do they report to?
  • How can they influence a decision?
  • What specific action can they take to advance your cause?
  • What other info can they provide?

Use ‘GEDS’ to find the right person, with the right job

Keep a list of questions you’ll want to ask

Leave behind only what is directly relevant to the action they can take

What Officials Can and Cannot Do

What they CAN do:

  • Guard against knee jerk political decisions
  • Take decisions on delegated authority
  • Develop options for the Minister to consider
  • Give cost implications and a proposed implementation plan
  • Stall implementation

What they CANNOT do:

  • Commit to policy change
  • Give definitive direction
  • Implement major ideas without political approval

What Members of Parliament Can and Cannot Do

What they CAN do:

  • Provide access to the government
  • Help you navigate the system
  • Raise awareness of your cause
  • Pose a Question in Question Period
  • Make statements in the House
  • Support Amendments in Committee

What they CANNOT do:

  • Make policy decisions
  • Intervene in departmental decision-making

What Ministers Can and Cannot Do

What they CAN do:

  • Make decisions on the business of their department
  • Bring in outside info / different points of view
  • Ask that a new idea be evaluated
  • Question the material that is presented
  • Refuse to sign off

What they CANNOT do:

  • Unilaterally change a policy decision
  • Create a new policy without departmental consultation, analysis and evaluation
  • Unilaterally implement a decision