On April 18th, Suits and Boots celebrated its one-year anniversary. It’s been a great first year – and we’d like to ask your help in making our second year even better.
A lot has happened in this past 12 months, and any success we’ve had has been because of your support – thank you so very much. We’re now more than 3,700 supporters who have helped us raise a number of key issues, most notably being our opposition to Bill C-69 in the Senate.
As we begin our second year of operations, there are three things we’ve learned in this past year that shape who we are at Suits and Bootsand have an influence on where we go from here:
- We truly are grassroots: we are financed solely by your contributions. Our friends at Wildhorse Capital Partners in Calgary provided us seed money to pay for legal/accounting/bookkeeping when we started up in April of last year. We’ve received no other corporate funding since then. Any corporate logos you’ll see on our website are there to recognize individuals employed at those firms who supported us with personal donations. Very few organizations supporting the resource sector like we do rely solely on public donations to operate.
- We are truly non-partisan: we focus on issues and ideas, policies and the people who make them, but we will never be advocating or supporting any political party. It’s very important to note that the government’s Bill C-76, which passed at the end of December, will limit activities that groups like Suits and Boots may undertake in lobbying governments or playing an active role, during election campaigns and even outside of campaigns. Groups that wish to take on a partisan role will be obliged to register with Elections Canada. We have neither the time, money or inclination to go down that road, so will focus our activities on campaigns that keep us onside with the new legislation and still allow us to play a meaningful role. This is an area we’re watching closely, and are receiving legal advice on to be sure we are onside. You’ll be hearing much more about this law as the federal election approaches. This legislation was not in place last year when we started, and it will be an important factor in determining what we do in the months and years ahead.
- Our support comes from the Prairies: We indeed have 3,700+ supporters across Canada, but nearly 90% of them come from the area outlined in this map, which was sent to me by a follower on Twitter. We define this Prairie region as including the Interior and North of British Columbia.
So, we are a grassroots, non-partisan group with tremendous support in the Prairie region of Canada.
What does all this mean for Suits and Boots in Year 2 ? It means that while we are not a political party, we need to act like one to grow our grassroots support. We need to expand our base. We need to add individual supporters who follow us, provide local leadership for us, and build up our profile & grassroots fundraising. And focus this on the Prairies.
Our focus on Year 2 will be this: “Supporting Canada’s Prairie Economy”. The resource sector is a huge part of this, but we’ll now start going wider in a number of issues and areas that all contribute to the Prairie economy: education; health care; employment; youth; immigration; taxation; agriculture; First Nations issues; venture capital financing; and trade.
Let’s make one thing clear: a healthy and robust Prairie economy is good for all of Canada. We’ll have a lot more to say on that in the weeks ahead. We will work towards providing support in a number of different ways that we hope will advance priorities, policies and people that all contribute to a strong Prairie economy. We don’t want to be simply another protest voice – we want to get things done, move the needle, and be agents of change, just like we have been on Bill C-69.
And we need your help to do that.
Here’s how you can help us – there are 5 key areas where we are looking for support in volunteer positions:
- Community leaders – we are looking for volunteers who would like to help us raise the Suits and Boots profile in your Prairie community. You will help spread the word about Suits and Boots, help sign up more supporters who follow us, keep us informed of key issues in your community, and be our champions on the ground, and speak on our behalf. You will be working closely with Sue Hall, our Suits and Boots VP of Getting Things Done. If you have experience in organizing and leading groups at the community level, you’d be a huge help to our efforts.
- Media relations directors: we are looking for volunteers to help us establish and maintain relationships with traditional media outlets – especially local community newspapers and radio stations – in the Prairie communities.
- Social media support: we are looking for volunteers who can help our social media wizard, Luke Hamer, expand our reach with a goal to driving more supporters to join Suits and Boots in the Prairie region.
- Administrative support: we are looking for volunteers who can help Sue Hall keep on top of a million little things that she does to keep us running.
- Investment industry support: we are looking for volunteers who work inside the investment industry in the Prairies to help us increase our support across the board in this sector.
Send us an email back, letting us know if you can help, and in what capacity.
Thanks again for your support.