A Lesson in Advocacy with Ryan Clarke from Advocacy Solutions


During our orientation period, we have met many passionate and talented individuals, one of which was Ryan Clarke, the President of Advocacy Solutions. As a former political staffer and lawyer focusing on family law, Ryan Clarke has an expansive knowledge of the Ontario Legislature and provincial politics. He believes in ‘change from the outside’ and making good public policy. Mr. Clarke gave us a compelling presentation about the work he carries out, the nature of advocacy and how we can be effective in practicing advocacy.

Mr. Clarke’s company, Advocacy Solutions, provides effective advocacy based services for organizations and individuals. Ryan trains both individuals and organizations in ‘advocating for themselves’ in a professional manner. In simple terms, Ryan demonstrated to us how advocacy can be used as a key tool to communicate a clear message to government decision makers. Before advocating, Ryan ensures that his clients receive an understanding of the hierarchical structure and bureaucracy of government, which he deems crucial, to accomplish the client’s end goal or asks of government. Advocacy Solutions is unique because it serves small to medium organizations and fills a vital niche in the government relations market because these organizations do not have the capital to access large scale government relations firms.  

Thank you Ryan for the wonderful presentation and for your contributions as one of our sponsors. We were pleased to learn more about the different kinds of advocacy, the essence of good advocacy, and the process for developing an effective advocacy strategy. The interns are positive that your advice will be valuable as we interact with key decision makers within the political process and progress in our careers.

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Meeting Dan Newman, Former PC MPP and Cabinet Minister

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We had the pleasure to meet Dan Newman, a Progressive Conservative MPP & cabinet minister who served in the legislature for eight years under the Harris and Eves governments. Mr. Newman began by describing how politics and political campaigning had changed since 1995. Back then, there was no email and Mr. Newman was one of the first MPPs to have a website, which he proudly named “HelloNewman”, a reference to Seinfeld.  

He stressed to us that it was not impossible to get into politics and used the example of himself to prove it. Mr. Newman’s inspiration to get engaged and involved was driven because he did not agree with the policies of the sitting government. He started his political career by becoming president of his local riding association before running for MPP of his riding. When describing his years as MPP, he recalled the importance of serving everyone in the riding, even if they did not vote for you or did not vote at all. Mr. Newman recalled some of the tough situations he was in, including the E. coli outbreak in Walkerton when he was Minister of the Environment.

Mr. Newman also described life after politics and how for some, losing an election was difficult to recover from. His view after defeat was that if you did everything you could in terms of effort, you can live with yourself. After his political career, Mr. Newman transitioned into the private sector, working for POI Business Interiors. He was thankful for his experience serving Ontarians because the policy, strategy and people skills he learned in Queen’s Park stayed with him as he progressed in his career.

Thank you Mr. Newman for sharing your experiences and lessons with us!