Advocacy

Yvon Trepanier

Yvon Trepanier

By Yvon Trepanier,
Chair, National Advocacy Committee

Effective advocacy – a balancing act

Effective advocacy is a balancing act involving many people and three key activities: lobbying, use of media, and grass-roots action. Each appeals to different audiences and requires careful thought and planning to ensure coordinated effort and maximum impact.

Lobbying is activity aimed directly at policy makers with the objective of influencing their decision-making. This function is undertaken by an organization and involves communicating with elected politicians, political staff, and bureaucrats. In the case of Parkinson Society Canada, senior staff and volunteers work together to lobby the Government of Canada, Members of Parliament and the Senate, and staff within the federal bureaucracy for investment and policy change relevant to the Canadian Parkinson’s community.

Media profile is noticed by government decision-makers and offers much-needed support to the lobbying effort. At the same time, large portions of the community become informed about, and potentially engaged in, the issue. Organizations generate media coverage, but so, too, can local stakeholder groups and individuals. Letters to the Editor are a very effective way to get messages out – and can be done in a coordinated, strategic manner so we have visibility in a community or national paper.

Grass-roots advocacy action is essential to raising the profile of issues on a large scale. It brings the voice of individuals to the forefront and allows elected politicians to hear directly from their constituents. Grass-roots action reinforces the messages communicated by the organization and brings the issue to life in real terms through personal experience. When well coordinated, grass-roots campaigns facilitate communication with all elected representatives at the same time, thereby creating a buzz about a specific issue at a specific time.

Parkinson Society Canada has an active National Advocacy Committee made up of volunteers and staff. This committee works to ensure that our approach to advocacy is balanced and offers opportunities for everyone to get involved. To date, our national network of grass-roots advocates covers over 100 ridings. Our goal is to have at least one volunteer in each of the 308 ridings across Canada so we need your help. To learn how you can lend your support to this effort, visit the PSC Advocacy Café.

News Releases – June 5, 2009

► Government of Canada Announces First-ever National Study on Neurological Diseases

► Health Charities Applaud Government of Canada’s Research Investment in Neurological Conditions

► Joyce Gordon, Chair, Neurological Health Charities Canada: Response to Ministerial Announcement of $15 million to fund 4-year national population-based study of neurological conditions in Canada

Back Row:  Patrick Brown, MP Barrie; Femma Norton, Canadian Alliance of Brain Tumor Organizations; Tim Irwin, Huntington Society of Canada; Derryn Gill, Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Association of Ontario; Rosie Wartecker, Tourette Syndrome Foundation Canada; Janet MacMaster, March of Dimes Canada; Diane Gillespie, Dystonia Medical Research Foundation Canada; Yves Savoie, MS Society of Canada; Kent Bassett-Spiers, Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation; Debbie Bezenkowski, Alzheimer Society of Canada.  Front Row: Catherine Sherrard, Muscular Dystrophy Canada; The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health for Canada; Bobbi Greenberg, ALS Society of Canada; Inez Jabalpurwala, NeuroScience Canada; Joyce Gordon, Parkinson Society Canada.

Back Row (left to right): Patrick Brown, MP Barrie; Femma Norton, Canadian Alliance of Brain Tumor Organizations; Tim Irwin, Huntington Society of Canada; Derryn Gill, Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Association of Ontario; Rosie Wartecker, Tourette Syndrome Foundation Canada; Janet MacMaster, March of Dimes Canada; Diane Gillespie, Dystonia Medical Research Foundation Canada; Yves Savoie, MS Society of Canada; Kent Bassett-Spiers, Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation; Debbie Bezenkowski, Alzheimer Society of Canada. Front Row: Catherine Sherrard, Muscular Dystrophy Canada; The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health for Canada; Bobbi Greenberg, ALS Society of Canada; Inez Jabalpurwala, NeuroScience Canada; Joyce Gordon, Parkinson Society Canada.

Joyce Gordon, President & CEO of Parkinson Society Canada with The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health for Canada

The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health for Canada (left) and Joyce Gordon, President & CEO of Parkinson Society Canada


Charitable registration number 10809 1786 RR0001
All material related to Parkinson's disease contained in Parkinson Post is solely for the information of the reader. It should not be used for treatment purposes. Specific articles reflect the opinion of the writer and are not necessarily the opinion of PSC.

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