On February 22, Finance Minister Selina Robinson released the Province of British Columbia’s 2022-2023 budget, Stronger Together. Highlights included:
- expanding licensed childcare by 40,000 new spaces over the next seven years
- supporting preparedness for climate disasters, with $210 million to support community climate-change preparedness
- investing into an inclusive and clean economy, with than $1 billion in new funding for CleanBC
- supporting meaningful reconciliation with First Peoples
The BC Co-op Association welcomes these investments and notes that cooperatives are ideally placed to:
- deliver childcare services in a manner that meets the needs of children, parents and workers
- organize communities to prepare for climate and other catastrophes
- create meaningful and stable employment opportunities for those currently facing gig work and precarity, including newcomers and others that have been marginalized
- reduce living costs and environmental impact through alternatives to individual ownership
- support the development of green energy infrastructure
- provide opportunities to improve the participation of Indigenous people and communities in the economy in a manner that respects their history, culture and self-determination
There are more than 700 co-operatives in BC, controlling more than $48 billion in assets. Forty percent of British Columbians are members of at least one co-op or credit union. Co-ops outrank mineral extraction, utilities, telecoms, accounting and payroll services, postal and courier services, and automotive manufacturing for jobs (182,253) and GDP ($61.2 billion). Childcare co-ops reduce costs by up to 50%, and Vancouver co-op housing is 55% less expensive than comparable market rents.
We look forward to working with the Government of British Columbia to build on the strengths of the co-op movement and better serve cooperative members and their communities across the province.