Taking the opportunity to connect with MPs from across Canada is a key political engagement strategy for the CCSTA: and that’s what’s on the agenda for its Board of Directors later this month.
On. Oct. 31, the CCSTA Lobby Day will take place at the Parliament Buildings in the Nation’s Capital where two or three CCSTA Directors will sit down with an MP at one time for a 30-minute period.
“The Lobby Day gives our board members a chance to talk about CCSTA, including our vision and goals as well as about Catholic Education in Canada,” explains Executive Director Julian Hanlon. “We talk about fully funded provinces versus partially funded, private schools and most importantly, we talk about the total number of students enrolled in Catholic Schools and how we do make a difference.”
The last Lobby Day took place in February, 2016 and directors say the meetings are a great opportunity to connect with politicians and to establish relationships.
“Previous Lobby Days have been very successful and tie in nicely with the local engagement strategy we implemented two years ago. This involves encouraging trustees from across the country to meet with their local MPs,” explains Hanlon. “While education is a provincial matter we feel strongly that federal politicians need to be aware of what is going on as there are federal implications such as the Theodore Case in Saskatchewan.”
For this month’s Lobby Day, they are working with Ensight Canada to identify MPs from across the country who they wish to see that day. They’ll then ensure the CCSTA Board Member from that specific MP’s home province attends that meeting.
The Lobby Day is scheduled for Oct. 31, following the CCSTA’s Oct. 30 Board of Directors meeting. The Lobby Day finishes with a reception on Parliament Hill. Last year they had 30 MPs drop by and CCSTA President Marino Gazzola spoke on behalf of CCSTA and a member from each party also said a few words.
“It was a very productive day, and we had lots of positive feedback from both the Directors and the MPs,” says Hanlon. “Building this foundation with our MPs is an integral part of why we’re here, and these meetings helped solidify those necessary relationships.”