• Keep your letter short and simple (no more than 200 words)
  • Relate it to a previous story, letter, editorial, or feature that the paper publishes (make imaginative links if necessary) and make it locally relevant
  • Plan your first sentence carefully – if it’s dull the editor may read no further; if it’s catchy you’re in with a chance
  • A simple letter pattern could be to state: what you support or disagree with, what evidence or examples you can offer to support your view, and what can be done about it
  • Make sure you sign your letter, and include your name, address, and phone number so the editor can verify it

During the month of action you can highlight:

1. The urgency and need for Canada to create an ombudsperson and why its important to you

– Talk about your personal connections with directly impacted individuals and communities

– Talk about fundamental Canadian values that you hold dear, and how acting against impunity and for human rights would impact you

2. The promises of major Canadian political parties (Liberal, NDP, Green, Bloc) to create an independent ombudsperson if elected (see Parliamentary Report Card- sept 2015)

3. The essential elements of an effective ombudsperson (see infographic)

4. The visit of the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights at the end of May — the UNWG visits only two countries a year, this year Canada will be one of them