write an op-ed



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why write your MP

Write to your Member of Parliament if you want to make your voice heard by sharing your personal thoughts and stories about why a particular issue is so meaningful to you. Building a one-on-one relationship with your MP is the most effective way to make your opinion known on Parliament Hill.

expert fact

Building a relationship with your Member of Parliament is a critical lever of change as you can educate, influence, and inspire them to take action on the issues you care about.

secret tip

Before introducing yourself to your Member of Parliament, do some research to understand more about their background, past careers, passions, priorities, and facts that could be helpful when you engage with them!

write an op-ed

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why write an op-ed

Write an op-ed to share your knowledge, opinion and passion independently from the newspaper’s viewpoint. Use up to 750 words to make your voice heard by exploring our campaign issue in detail, presenting new insights and ideas, and challenging the status-quo.

expert fact

When an issue is dominating the news, that’s what readers want to read about and op-ed editors want to publish. Timing is essential!

secret tip

Unfortunately, you can’t eliminate extreme poverty with 750 words, so focus on making a single point clearly and persuasively.

write a letter to the editor (LTE)

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why write an LTE

Write an LTE if you want to make your opinion heard in a timely manner. You don’t need a lot of research, and your LTE can be brief and to-the-point - just 150-200 words! When time is of the essence, choose to write an LTE.

expert fact

Once submitted, you can track your letter by doing an internet search of your name and following up with the publication to find out if/when it is getting published.

secret tip

Your letter doesn’t have to be perfect, and you don’t have to be an expert to have an opinion. You simply need to care.

use your voice on social media

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why use social media

Social media is a quick and easy way to speak up and tell your Member of Parliament (MP) that you care about immunization and access to vaccines. Get public attention and let Canada know that they should continue to be a global leader.

expert fact

Tweets with images can receive approximately 160% more retweets than those without.

secret tip

When posting on social media, be genuine and speak from the heart. People want to connect with other human beings online, so be yourself and it'll help you get your message across!

Call-to-action summary: 

Our call-to-action for June extends our multi-month campaign in support of the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment by focusing on one of the communities most affected by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria – the LGBTQ2+ community – and why they must be front and centre in the fight against the three diseases. The Global Fund is our ticket to ending these epidemics and enacting the high-impact actions needed to realize #TheWorldWeNeed by strengthening global systems for a healthier, more equitable, pandemic-proof world.

op-ed \ ˈäp-ˈed  \
: a page of special features usually opposite the editorial page of a newspaper

This month, we encourage you to write an op-ed that asks Canada to make an ambitious investment to the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment in fall 2022. As a hook, use the largest Pride event in the country, Toronto Pride (June 24-26), to tell Canada that you are counting on them to make an ambitious pledge in support of the Global Fund to improve access to quality healthcare for members of the LGBTQ2+ community around the world.   
Make the case for how the Global Fund is a mechanism that Canada can be proud of investing in – it’s aligned with our Feminist International Assistance Policy and Canadian priorities such as the THRIVE Agenda. Demonstrate that the Global Fund is a powerful instrument to advance people-centred care, specifically for disproportionately impacted populations such as the LGBTQ2+ community, and that investing in the Global Fund is one of the most strategic ways for Canada to deliver on its commitments to ensure that people of all genders and identities can access the quality, affordable, health care they need to survive and thrive.

The ask: Canada must invest CAD$1.2 billion in the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria ahead of the Seventh Replenishment conference, to recover from the devastating impacts that COVID-19 has had on these longstanding epidemics, and strengthen systems for health to build a healthier, more equitable, pandemic-proof world. 

Use our step-by-step instructions below and get your op-ed published in the media.

follow these step-by-step instructions to write an op-ed

Volunteers on average spend 3-4 hours researching and planning, 3 hours writing their draft and 15 minutes submitting it to a newspaper.  

  1. Read our current call-to-action and note the “ask”.
  2. Research the current issue by reading the news or external reliable sources (e.g., the World Health Organization).
  3. Pick one newspaper to target and read their submission guidelines carefully. Word count and format will vary between newspapers. For options, use our database of editors’ emails .
  4. Create an outline using the EPIC format to help make your piece persuasive. Remember to state the problem early on and include a solution to the issue, which is usually the “ask” in the current call-to-action.
  5. Draft your op-ed. 
    • Use simple language and write in the active voice. The idea you’re sharing doesn’t need to be simple, but plain language will help you get that idea across.
    • Cite your sources. Editors will fact-check your op-ed, so include hyperlinks to the original reputable sources for every statistic or fact. You can draw evidence from your research and/or our call-to-action.
    • Review your draft to make sure you are using respectful and inclusive language – see our anti-oppression best practices. 
    • Write a catchy title that will draw the reader in.
  6. Follow the submission guidelines for the newspaper you chose. You will probably be asked to include a one sentence bio that explains why you are a credible source, a photo, your name, address, and phone number for the editor. For example, “NAME is an International Development student at the University of British Columbia and a volunteer advocate with Results Canada.”
  7. Press ‘send’ – congratulations! Tell your Group Leader you’ve submitted an op-ed. If you are not part of a group, consider joining one.
  8. Recycle. Send your op-ed draft to your Member of Parliament (MP) to let them know your opinion. 

Watch our top tips

did you get published?

  • If your piece was picked up, complete the “I got published in the media” form. Share it on social media by using #Canada4Results, plus tagging @ResultsCda and your MP.
  • Not published? Persevere! Within one week of sending your op-ed, follow up by phone or email. Be sure to sell your piece and/or ask for feedback. Re-work your op-ed and send to another newspaper. You can also submit it to our in-house publication coming out in October, where we will feature great pieces volunteers like you have written.

See all our resources to help you write your op-ed, along with key dates, hashtags, tags, and keywords found in our current call-to-action

see an example of an op-ed

Twenty five years of gains in girls’ education is on the line

Some parts of the world may be beginning to reopen, but for over 20 million girls who are at risk of dropping out of school forever, the worst may be yet to come. Canada had an opportunity to lead globally in girls’ education at the recent G7 Summit, but unfortunately failed to increase its commitment.

This July, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is holding a replenishment conference, giving Canada a golden opportunity to unlock the potential of millions of girls and ensure they are not left behind in the wake of COVID-19.

Over 130 million girls were already out of school prior to the pandemic, having faced barriers to education on several fronts. On the one hand, girls are at a higher risk of sexual exploitation, child marriage, and adolescent pregnancy in lower income countries. They also need to contend with harmful cultural norms and practices and school-related gender-based violence. Even at the most basic level, a lack of period management products, information, and sanitation act as roadblocks to fully capable girls wanting to complete their schooling.

The unfortunate truth is that COVID-19 is having a disproportionate impact on disadvantaged and marginalized populations. Here in Canada, we have questioned the effectiveness of virtual classes over the past year with teachers estimating that students are at least three months behind due to the pandemic.

In lower income countries, the situation is more dire. During school closures, as families plunge deeper into poverty, girls are the hardest hit in terms of learning loss. Not only do housework and caregiving responsibilities fall largely on the shoulders of young girls, the gender digital divide has exacerbated learning inequalities. Girls now have even less access to the internet and digital devices than ever.

The beautiful thing about investing in girls’ education is it can have a transformative impact on our global pandemic recovery. If every girl received 12 years of schooling, the global economy could be boosted by nearly US $30 trillion. Educating girls has also been shown to dramatically improve a country’s climate resilience and public health, and contribute to lasting peace and stability. Maternal deaths would decline by nearly 70 per cent and population growth could be curbed significantly. In short, everyone stands to gain from educating girls.

Fortunately, Canada already knows the value of educating girls, having led the Charlevoix declaration for quality education for girls in developing countries at 2018’s G7 Summit.

With the 2021 GPE replenishment conference being held July 28-29, Canada has an opportunity to cement its legacy in girls’ education. The GPE is the world’s largest education partnership and fund dedicated to creating more sustainable, peaceful, and resilient societies by putting gender equality at the heart of education.

As a founding member of the GPE, Canada’s total investments have already helped to double the number of girls on the pathway to equality. Unfortunately, the Canadian government failed to increase its GPE contribution at this year’s G7 Summit, only pledging CAD $300 million. Now, we face a once-in-a-generation opportunity.

Canada can help enrol an additional 48 million girls in school, save 2 million girls from early marriage, lift 18 million people out of poverty, and ultimately add US $164 billion to the global economy. What it would take is a fully funded GPE. By topping off our current GPE pledge, millions of girls will have access to a safe and supportive learning environment.

Beyond schooling itself, Canada’s investments will provide adequate health care and immunization services, sexual and reproductive health education, nutritious meals, psychosocial support, and protection from violence and abuse.

When a girl is prioritized, protected, and educated, she can lift herself and those around her out of the clutches of extreme poverty. As we look to emerge from the largest education disruption in history, the time is now for Canadian leadership.

It is my hope that Prime Minister Trudeau will commit to investing an additional CAN $200 million over five years in the GPE this summer and show the world that Canada leaves no one behind.

Charanya Thiyanavadivel, June 22 2021, The Toronto Star

expert fact

While writing an op-ed, make sure to keep the timing and your readers in mind:  

  1. Timing: try to establish an explicit link between the issue you're writing on and something dominating the news at the time (ex. "While the call for a war budget in the wake of Russia's war on Ukraine grows louder, this must not derail the ongoing efforts to tackle the secondary impacts of COVID-19.”) 
  2. Readers: Put yourself in your readers' place and ask yourself: "So what? Who cares?" Your op-ed should explain why the subject matters to your readers and why they should care (ex. "If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it's this - No one is safe until everyone is safe.") 

– Ekatha Ann John, former journalist and current Global Health Manager at Results Canada

Still not sure about writing an op-ed?

At Results, we encourage volunteers to step out of their comfort zone and push yourselves to further your impact. While you don’t have to be an expert to have an opinion, it is important for your op-ed to be well researched.

Op-eds take greater effort on your part than a letter to the editor (LTE), but they can also create greater impact! An op-ed offers more space to make your argument and share statistics than a 200-word LTE. Op-eds get a lot of traction with decision-makers because of the great effort it takes to write and successfully get published.

“I enjoyed the whole process of writing an op-ed, from reading background material on the Global Fund to collecting my thoughts and finding the right words to express them. It felt good just to get it done, so actually getting it published was an added bonus. I'd encourage anyone who's especially interested in a topic to give it a try.” 

- Chitra, Results volunteer