Spotlight on: #LegalAidMatters letter-writing campaign

  • July 10, 2019

Lawyers, better than anyone, know that when you want to get a message across in a way that makes people pay attention, you write a letter.

That’s why the CBA has invested in a letter-writing tool as one of the primary ways of making its point that stable, sustainable legal aid funding needs to be an issue in this year’s federal election campaign.

The pre-election period is a time of heightened awareness of potential campaign issues, and it’s a perfect time to bring access to justice to the fore. The CBA’s campaign emphasizes the fact that legal aid is a poorly funded patchwork of services across the country whose shortcomings mean that it’s not available to many of the people who need it most, and asks the federal government to take leadership on the issue.

Members can sign into the tool on the CBA’s election website. Plug in your name and home address and the software will find the candidates from the five major parties running in that riding. You can choose whether to send the letter to all five candidates, or just to the local MP.

The letter itself consists of three paragraphs, all of which have several variations in text and in tone, so that you can choose what you want to say about legal aid and how to say it. It is further customizable in that if you’re not happy with the text provided, you can change it – reword it to your liking, or add personal anecdotes based on your knowledge about legal aid in the riding or province.

Once you’ve arranged the letter’s components to your liking, hit “send” and it will be delivered to your choice of recipients. You will then be prompted to share your letter on Facebook or Twitter (this is optional) or to let friends know about the letter (also optional).

The CBA launched its two-part #LegalAidMatters campaign in June. The public-facing side of the campaign is meant to inform the public about – and generate public support for – the need for legal aid funding. The other side, aimed at CBA members, provides you with information and tools you can use to make sure candidates know there is a constituency willing and able to hold them accountable for their action or inaction on the issue. We encourage you to check out the website, and get writing.