Deep canvassing: How an innovative American door-knocking method is invigorating Canadian environmental campaigns

By patiently listening, canvassers have remarkable success swaying opinion

Why It Matters

Contemporary climate research shows the best way to convince skeptics is to patiently engage with their existing beliefs. Deep canvassing is a political mobilization strategy social purpose organizations like Neighbours United use to do just that: their campaign in a rural B.C. smelting town influenced 40 per cent of residents surveyed and helped pass clean energy legislation.

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When the man he was trying to convince disclosed that he’d protested against COVID restrictions, Joshua Workman immediately felt he wasn’t going to get very far.

Workman was standing on this man’s doorstep in suburban Calgary, Alberta, volunteering with a door-knocking campaign. They were spreading awareness about the climate crisis before the 2023 provincial election. The campaign’s main objective was to convince voters in this riding that government tax breaks to oil and gas companies should be ended and reinvested in renewable energy. 

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