Why Should I Talk to My MLA?
The AHLA regularly advocates to the provincial government on behalf of Alberta hotels. We need to educate Ministers and MLAs on the issues that are important to the tourism industry; otherwise, they may not be aware of these issues, or they may not see them as important.
For the hotel industry to thrive, it is important that properties and ownership groups also foster relationships with their MLAs, and reinforce the AHLA’s key messages about issues that affect our industry. By informing your elected representative about the role and importance of the tourism/hospitality industry in Alberta, you can help them see you as a trusted constituent.
How Do I Connect With My MLA?
- Contact the MLA for both your personal constituency and the one where the hotel is situated. If you are able to get a meeting with either or each of them, that is a win.
- 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 (usually Fridays are constituency days).
- Whether you go to them or they come to you, treat them like they are a guest or potential guest.
- Get to know your MLA & understand what is important to them and their party.
- Inform them about the tourism & hospitality industry in Alberta. Remember that MLAs, their party, and the government have multiple stakeholders to satisfy. Don’t expect them to give you an answer or to commit to a position with you.
- Be respectful even if you don’t agree with their position.
- 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.
When contacting your MLA, consider connecting with one or two other hoteliers in your area to try and arrange a meeting together.
When Should I Contact My MLA?
It’s a good idea to touch base with your MLA at least once a year — even if it is only to thank them for recent changes that have positively impacted your property. You can contact them more often if you have concerns. MLAs have very busy schedules, so we recommend you refrain from contacting them about minor problems. Instead, focus on major issues so they will be receptive to hearing from you.
What Should I Talk About?
- Thank your MLA for recent legislative changes or policy decisions that positively affect your property or the hotel industry in general.
- Share concerns or requests about current legislation or policies. Be sure to share the impacts — or potential impacts — on your property, business, and employees.
We have developed talking points to help you prepare for your meeting with your MLA, based on current issues and changes in legislation and policies.
If You Need Assistance Preparing for Your Meeting:
Please contact the AHLA at WeHelpHotels@ahla.ca so we can help you prepare for your meeting. Please also cc: this email address on any correspondence with your MLA so the AHLA can stay informed.
Pictured at top: Tracy Douglas-Blowers, AHLA Director of Membership & Industry Relations (left), and Dave Kaiser, AHLA President & CEO (right), with Deron Bilous, MLA for Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview