In the Speech from the Throne on February 6, 2023, Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin identified the key objectives of the Province of British Columbia for the coming year. These include:
- helping people with the rising cost of living
- tackling the housing crisis
- strengthening access to public health care
- fighting climate change and building an inclusive economy
Co-operatives can be part of the solution
Consumer co-ops offer their members affordable access to everyday goods and services. Whether it’s an alternative to individual car ownership (Modo) tools (The Vancouver Tool Library) or groceries (Otter Co-op), dealing with a co-operative means more money in your pocket.
Housing Co-ops are a critical source of affordable housing. In addition to the housing supported by the Cooperative Housing Federation of BC, BCCA is exploring the opportunities and barriers for cooperative solutions to the “missing middle” of housing options. This includes land co-ops and equity housing co-ops.
Co-operative can be part of improving Health Care outcomes. Services delivered through organizations such as the Umbrella Multicultural Health Co-op, the Victoria Health Co-operative and the Kílala Lelum Urban Indigenous Health & Healing Cooperative provide individuals with access to high-quality care, and support the well-being of communities.
Worker co-ops such as Vancouver Renewable Energy Co-op and Viridian Energy Co-op provide meaningful employment in the installation of sustainable energy systems. And the Salish Sea Renewable Energy Co-op and Peace Energy Co-op enable communities to collectively own their sustainable energy generation and green their consumption of energy.
These are just a few examples. Co-operatives can also support other government priorities articulated in the Throne Speech like expanding low-cost clean-energy solutions, providing British Columbians with stable and meaningful employment, encouraging Reconciliation efforts with Indigenous Peoples, and supporting the settlement and inclusion of refugees and other newcomers.
BCCA looks forward to working with the Province of British Columbia to address the challenges facing our communities.