Co-ops and Framing the Future – Government Letter Writing Campaign

| Business, Government

Message from the Chair of the BCCA Board of Directors

Dear valued members,

On July 14, 2020, I was honoured to be part of an Economic Recovery Roundtable with Premier John Horgan on behalf of the BC Co-op Association. The Agenda focused on three key questions:

  1. The Impact of COVID-19 and initiatives the government can take to address the disproportionate impact on women, youth, Indigenous communities, and people from marginalized backgrounds.
  2. The impact of a long-term recovery on the future of work, economic growth, and the make-up and diversity of BC’s economy.
  3. (Re)Imagining the Recovery, including threats and opportunities for recommitment to Clean BC, Truth and Reconciliation, addressing inequity, and increasing affordability for BC residents.

In my presentation to the Premier, I noted these key points:

  • We envision an economy characterized by inclusion, cohesion and innovation, and that BC co-ops characterize and thrive in this space as a proven innovative, community-based model for over 150 years.
  • Co-ops are an important solution coming out of the COVID pandemic to help government meet its objectives.
  • Co-ops offer community-based responses that are more agile than the traditional private sector business model.
  • Co-ops and co-op conversion can be a useful strategy in addressing closure of small businesses and re-invigorating local and provincial economies.

To achieve all this, however, I noted that co-ops face some barriers and it is important we work with government to ensure those barriers are removed so we can be on a level playing field with traditional private sector businesses. After my presentation, the Premier responded by saying he looks forward to the conversation about the role for co-ops, for COVID recovery and generally.

I cannot emphasize enough how significant it was that I had the opportunity, as the Board Chair for the BC Cooperative Association, to present to the Premier on the future of our province. But this was just the starting point – it is now time to add your voice to this important conversation.

We have prepared a sample letter we are encouraging you to use as a template to amplify the message of the co-ops as a mechanism for social purpose business, community economic development, social innovation, and more, all crucial aspects in the future of BC’s economy. We would ask that you send this letter to Premier John Horgan, Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier Carole James and Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness Michelle Mungall, copied to your MLA and to us at the BCCA. (If you’re unsure, you can find your MLA and their contact information on the BC Government website.)

Together, we can demonstrate how co-ops can help BC move towards a more socially just, environmentally sustainable, and resilient economy.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to connect with me by email to I look forward to receiving a copy of your letter to the Premier.

Yours truly,

Ben Hyman