Dear Santa!

| Community |

Dear Santa,

Several of our members have asked the BC Co-op Association to write to you with their wish list for the co-op sector for 2015. We’re hoping that you can make all their wishes come true!

Mary Childs of Ethos Law has asked for “a realistic capital raising exemption under securities law, which would allow co-ops to raise enough funds to really do something.” Right now, the exemption is only $5,000 per member, not high enough to raise serious capital for a co-op enterprise. Alberta, for example, has an exemption of $10,000 under their provincial Securities legislation.

Kate Dunford, Community Investment Manager for Vancity, “would be really thankful if you could ask the provincial government to allow community investment co-operatives to participate in the Province’s investment tax credit program.”

Christian Brandt, Executive Director of the Okanagan Car Share Co-operative, echoes this wish and would like to see a similar CED tax credit as currently exists in Manitoba as it allows them to raise additional capital since investors would get a 35%+ tax credit.” It’s a crucial tool for the co-operative sector to raise the needed capital.

Continuing the theme of raising capital to support great BC co-op projects, Elvy del Bianco, Program Manager, Co-operative Partnerships at Vancity, has asked for “a Cooperative Development Fund to support start-up coops via term equity investments.”

Robin Puga, member-owner of the Cantrust Hosting Co-operative (and BCCA Board director), says that “all I want for Christmas is: 

1. Funding for an international, multilingual, centralized repository of co-operative knowledge and stories that can be used by co-operatives around the world for training, education, and information purposes.

2. A common co-operative marketing and branding campaign for co-operatives and credit unions across Canada so that we can all feel part of something bigger than our individual efforts.

3. For every member of our provincial legislature and national parliament to understand the impact co-operatives can have in making our communities stronger so they get on board with a national co-operative initiative and funding to support the development of new co-ops.”

Kevin Harding, BCCA’s Director of Co-op Development, wants “a revision to the Cooperative Association Act to allow small corporations and other organizations to transition to the co-op model. This is something that exists in other provinces, and federally, but something we’re missing in BC.”

Jeremy Murphy, member-owner of the Sustainability Solutions Group, hopes that cooperatives and credit unions adopt sustainability and climate change action as an 8th Cooperative Principle and meaningfully enact this principle in their organizations and the work they do.”

And Zoe Creighton, Coordinator of the Upper Columbia Co-op Council, says that “if I were to ask for one wish from the Kootenays for the co-op sector this year, it would be for you to instill in the mind and heart of each and every one of our residents, a passionate curiosity for in-depth knowledge of co-ops and credit unions; of co-op economics, values and history; and a thirst to commit their time, influence, money and expertise to further build and expand our regional
co-operative, collaborative, and social economy.”

Well, Santa, that’s our list for this year. We hope that you have something for each of our members in your sack and that the BC co-op sector will see all its wishes come true in 2015.

With very best holiday wishes,

The folks at the B.C. Co-operative Association