1.5.4 Getting the Facts to Support Your Message

Whether you are preparing to meet with a councillor, preparing a deputation or talking to the media, you will want to collect some information. This means doing research. Research is not something only done by university researchers; it can be done by all of us. It basically means asking ourselves what information will show that there is a problem, influence people to make a positive change, and then figuring out where to get that information.

Remember that city councillors will probably know less than you do about the issue in your community. This is your chance to educate them. Speak from your experience, but back it up with some facts or statistics.

You might want some information to show:

  • The history of the problem.
  • The effect the problem has on the community.
  • How your proposed solution will address the problem.
  • How it relates to the changing population in Ottawa.


Where you might get the information:

  • Contact community organizations working on the issue
  • Request information on population trends from the Ottawa Social Planning Council.
  • Review information from the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study.
  • Check out reports and minutes on the City of Ottawa website.
  • Articles in the newspaper.
  • Do a community survey.
  • See what other cities have done to address a similar challenge.
  • Check out relevant websites on your issue.