(NC) Want to make a difference in your community but not sure where to begin? Here are some easy ways to get involved:
- Find your representative. It’s important to know who represents you in government decisions. Find out the contact info of your Member of Parliament and your local municipal councilor and don’t be afraid to reach out to them with your concerns—whether you think more money should be spent on mental health care, or if you think your neighbourhood needs a new stop sign.
- Get out and vote. This is an easy one. Whenever there’s an election, make sure you vote for representatives who are aligned with your interests and concerns. And don’t just vote in major federal or provincial elections—local governments often have a big impact on your day-to-day life.
- Participate in the census. Taken every five years, the census is an important part of our heritage—it helps us learn more about the makeup of communities across Canada while taking an active role in the civic process. This longstanding part of our identity has been around since 1666, when Jean Talon conducted the first Canadian census. Today, the census is the primary source of sociodemographic data for key population groups and it supports economic, educational and cultural outcomes.
Important decisions and policies are based on the data collected, such as where to build schools or invest in support workers for the elderly. An easy way to make sure you and your family’s needs are prioritized is to participate in the next census, scheduled for May 2021. You can even complete the questionnaire online.
- Volunteer in your community. You can learn a lot and make a big difference in the lives of others by volunteering for an organization that supports a cause you care about. Whether it’s a local shelter or your child’s school, becoming more engaged in your neighbourhood is a good first step to being more engaged in your community.
Even if you try just one or two of these ideas for getting involved, you will see how rewarding it can be for yourself and those around you.