May 8, 2018
On May 1st seven motorcyclists representing 6 provinces congregated in Ottawa to bring motorcycle awareness to Parliament Hill. A carefully constructed plan included dividing into three teams to see as many MP’s, Senators and bureaucrats as possible.
The public perception of the life of a politician is quite often misconstrued. These individuals are on the run from sun up to sun down. Our Government Relations firm Ensight, explained that many MP’s do not run for a second term due to the daily demands placed on them. As a group lobbying for motorcycle awareness our goal was to get 15 to 30 minutes with MP’s or Senators that are involved in transportation. As illustrated south of the border, our government officials also put a great emphasis on social media. One of our goals was to have them take the safety pledge and share it on their Facebook or send out a tweet.
The Safety Pledge with MP Karen McCrimmon
The Safety Pledge with Senator David Tkachuk Chair Senate Transport Committee
In addition to the individual meetings the MCC was present in the House of Commons when Conservative MP David Sweet announced May is Motorcycle Safety Month. David is a rider who puts a lot of emphasis on the charity rides in his Hamilton are riding. (Do you think there is a correlation with an MP’s territory being called a “Riding”). Click here to see the announcement!
Liberal MP Doug Eyolfson shared his story as a rider and as an emergency room physician to the other MP’s in the House. Click here to see Doug share his story. Doug is also a strong advocate and participant of the Winnipeg area charity rides. Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau tweeted out a statement recognizing May as Motorcycle safety Month.
Hot topics in the world of global road transportation are autonomous (self-driving) vehicles and electrification. We asked all MP’s and Senators, “Will autonomous vehicles see motorcycles”. The response was quite consistent. They basically said thank you for asking, it never occurred to us to ask, your timing couldn’t be better, we are studying the impact of autonomous cars right now, we’re going to find out and make sure motorcycle awareness extends to autonomous vehicles.
The first wave of electric motorcycles has begun. Now major manufacturers are ready to ramp up production. Will they qualify for rebates? Will they qualify for other green incentives like acceptance on HOV lanes, etc. The MP’s & Senators were very interested to find out that motorcycles can be green as well and promised to consider them in future studies, legislation and incentives.
We mentioned provincial issues like insurance and land. The Fed’s were interested in the issues but we chose to concentrate on the issues with the most national relevance.
The day concluded with a reception in the centre block of the Parliament Buildings. Many MP’s and staffers dropped in for a quick conversation. MP Jean Claude Poissant pledged to make “May Is Motorcycle Safety Month” a recognized parliamentary event. He was seconded by MP Larry Miller. The official proclamation with take place in the House of Commons in the coming months. Based on the level of cheering after the speeches from MP’s Sweet & Eyolfson, it shouldn’t be a problem being accepted. Senator Tkachuk promised to do the same in the Senate.
MP Larry Miller sponsored our reception and was very proud of his Goldwing trike he rode in on.
The “Day on the Hill” was a tremendous success that will pay dividends now and for years to come. We succeeded in making the politicians aware of the presence of motorcycles in Canada (over 700,000). We made them aware of the socio-economic benefit of motorcycles ($2.68 billion annually). We succeeded in making them aware that our industry employs a huge number of workers in the biggest cities and the smallest towns (17,500 nationally). We made them aware that we need their consideration in future legislation. Most of all we made them aware to consciously look for us and to use the power of their social media to spread the word. Every MP, politician and staffer we spoke to had at least one story to share about their experience with a motorcycle. Normal occurrence would say that everyone on the planet is connected by six degrees of separation. If you add a motorcycle into the equation, the number is decreased significantly.
For additional information on MCC Goes To Ottawa please contact David Grummett at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-491-4449