Government Relations – Gaining Traction

| Business, Government, Opportunities
Government Relations and BC Co-operatives

Through BCCA Government Relations efforts, BC co-ops are gaining traction with government decision-makers. On behalf of our members, we’ve secured several meetings over the last number of months with high-ranking elected officials and other policymakers to discuss how to create a legislative and social environment that allows co-operatives to thrive.

Here are the areas that we’ve focusing on:

Levelling the playing field with traditional business

  • Co-operative models should appear as an option when registering a business, filing or updating information. Co-ops should be eligible for government funding and supports on an equitable basis with other businesses and non-profits.
  • Multigenerational assets bear an unfair tax burden. Co-ops shouldn’t be penalized for having the foresight to plan for the long-term. Co-ops need more opportunities to raise capital, through a more flexible regulatory environment, geared to the risk profile of member-based capital.

Integrating co-op needs across government

  • Training is needed for officials in government and agencies, venture capital accelerators, business schools, small businesses and others to take advantage of opportunities. Data collection and analysis is needed to develop key performance indicators.

Taking up opportunities for improvements in government policy

  • Co-operatives should have equal opportunity engage in government procurement processes. Resources are needed for co-op operators to understand processes and training is needed to procurement officers understand and fairly evaluate co-op bids.

Building the co-op network

  • BCCA led work in the fall and winter with a number of organizations in the social enterprise sector to determine whether there were common goals. We can take this work forward, working with others to enhance our voice in a few key areas, including government support for non-traditional business.

Additional Opportunities to explore include:

Child Care and Social Services

  • Government is investing in social services, many of which are delivered in the community but co-ops are not given priority. Small changes to regulations, rules and policies can make a big difference and support for those changes exists at the highest levels. BCCA is seeking support for the development and deployment of Econocoop, a back end service coop for child care providers.


  • A consultation and conference about co-op agriculture is being planned for this fall. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries is interested in further research and analysis related to co-ops to identify growth potential. Linking
    co-ops with food hubs presents a path for growth. Supporting governance training for agriculture co-operatives is a priority.


  • Working with CHF BC, BCCA is committed to ensuring government is investing in co-op housing and improving conditions for co-op housing to expand.

You can support BCCA’s Government Relations efforts by sharing GR materials, engaging your local MLA and other elected officials, attending BCCA events, connecting with co-ops and other organizations in your community to get people talking, and submitting your GR ideas to Marla at Together we can make change!

Recently we turned to you – our members, for insight regarding policy issues or concerns – thank you for sharing. Please visit the recent BCCA news post Scaling Up Government Relations – Seeking Member Direction,  for more details. To receive the latest news updates, please subscribe to the BCCA Newsletter.