Why Should I Talk to My Elected Officials?

To protect and promote our members’ interests, the AHLA strives to maintain an open and productive dialogue with elected officials and bureaucrats in the provincial government. We do this through regular calls and meetings and by providing accurate and comprehensive information to ensure policy makers understand the impacts of their decisions on Alberta’s hotel industry.

As investors and job creators, hotel owners and operators have valuable, real-life insights to share. The AHLA encourages our members to get to know their provincial Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) and their federal Member of Parliament (MP). These elected officials need to understand how hotels contribute to the constituencies they serve. By informing your elected representative about the role and importance of the tourism and hospitality industry in Alberta, you can help them see you as a trusted constituent. This is a topic where AHLA members are experts!

Your provincial MLA covers policies such as minimum wage, the Tourism Levy, and liquor & gaming.

Your federal MP covers policies such as immigration and Temporary Foreign Workers.

The AHLA encourages our members get to know their elected officials when they are candidates — before they are even elected.  By building an open and positive relationship with them, they are more likely to be receptive when you raise a concern or issue.  You may wish to:

  • Call or email your elected official to congratulate them when they get elected
  • Get together with your MLA or MP for coffee when they are in the riding
  • Attend fundraisers for candidates you support
  • Make sure you are on hand to greet an MLA, Minister, or MP if they are attending an event at your hotel.

Tips for Connecting With Elected Officials

  • Contact the MLA or the MP for both the constituency where you live and the one where your hotel is situated.
  • Consider connecting with one or two other hoteliers in your area to try and arrange a meeting together.
  • Invite them for a tour of your property at their convenience. You may have better luck getting an earlier meeting if you are willing to go to their constituency office (for MLAs, usually Fridays are constituency days).
  • Whether you go to them or they come to you, treat them like they are guests.
  • Get to know your elected officials. Try to understand what is important to them and their party.
  • Inform them about your business — the investment you have made, how many people you employ, and the place and impact your hotel has in your community.

If You Are Raising a Particular Issue with Your MLA or MP:

  • Remember that elected officials have multiple stakeholders to satisfy. Don’t expect them to give you an answer or to commit to a position.
  • Be respectful even if you disagree with their position on a given issue, or feel they don’t understand your concerns.
  • Thank them for meeting with you and remember that this is only one issue — there may be others in the future where their support and understanding is even more important.
  • Let the AHLA know what you and your elected official discussed, and if any follow up or additional information is needed.
Who’s My Provincial MLA?
Who’s My federal MP?

What Should I Talk About?

  • Let them know how business is at your hotel, and what is influencing it, whether it is tourism, oil & gas activity, or sporting events.
  • Share the impacts of legislation and regulations on your property, business, and employees.

We have developed talking points to help you prepare for your meeting, based on current issues and changes in legislation and policies. Feel free to leave a copy of this document with your MLA or MP.

Latest Talking Points

If You Need Assistance

Not sure where to start, or want help to prepare for a meeting? Please contact the AHLA at WeHelpHotels@ahla.ca. Please copy this email address on any correspondence with your MLA or MP so the AHLA can stay informed.

Pictured at top (left to right): Martin Long, Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business and Tourism; Jackie Lovely, MLA for Camrose; and Dave Kaiser, AHLA President & CEO