Write a Letter to the Editor

One of the most powerful ways you can speak out for safe, affordable public transport for all Canadians is by writing to your local newspaper.

A Letter to the Editor is a short piece that you submit to your local paper, commenting on something they’ve recently published, or something that really matters to you. Newspaper editors select a handful of submissions to publish each week.

Anyone can do it – you don’t have to be an “expert” – and we’ve set up a tool on this page to give you the right contacts for your local papers and submit your letter. Click to get started.

Why do we want to send letters to the editor about public transport?

  • To build awareness by getting the word out about the need for safe, affordable public transport to people who aren’t on social media.
  • To educate our politicians, whose staff read letters to the local paper, about the ways providing better public transport can strengthen our communities.

How to write a letter to the editor:

Here are some easy steps to get started on writing your letter to the editor:

  • Keep it under 300 words
  • Include your full name, phone number, and address – they will probably call you to verify that you’re a real person!
  • Personalize your letter as much as possible. Write about the impacts of lack of public transport in your own life or community to show why we need action.
  • If you choose to use our online tool be sure to edit and complete all the fields, otherwise we can’t submit your letter!
  • If you get stuck, refer to our Policy Briefings for ideas.
  • Submit your letter straight away.

Celebrate and share the letter if they publish it; try again later if they don’t – and don’t take it personally, it takes a combination of persistence and luck to get a letter published. 

Tips to increase your chance of publication:

Act fast. If you’re responding to something they’ve published or a story in the news, aim to submit within 1-2 days. Submitting something quickly is better than being a perfectionist.

Show your personality. If you can share a personal perspective on why you care about this issue, they want to hear it. “As a student…”; “As a parent…”; “I’ve had to give up driving for health reasons and I’m concerned that…”; “I was stranded in the middle of the night…”

Always write a fresh letter. Newspapers need authentic and unique content.

Use this online tool to write a great letter:

Photo: Earl Minnis – Canadian National Newsprint Car at Windsor, 1975