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We Need Cooperatives Now More Than Ever: A Reaction to BC’s 2015 Budget

By | Cooperatives Work, Government Relations | No Comments

Provincial policy could make an impact if it engaged cooperatives

Every year, the Province of British Columbia creates a budget – just like Thumbnail_BudgetSpeechevery other jurisdiction in Canada. And each year, when the Province creates its budget, it sketches out its policy priorities for the coming year.

This year, we were disappointed to find that the Province of British Columbia did not create policy opportunities to support cooperatives and community economic development in the budget. We need cooperatives now, more than ever, and we need the Province to support their impact in communities. In reading the Province’s budget, it’s our view that there are a number of places where government could invite cooperatives into their plans and projects and make real community impacts that have a long-lasting effect.

Since the economic crisis in 2008, British Columbians and Canadians want to find ways to support their local economies rather than subsidizing businesses that move that value out of communities and out of Canada. Cooperatives are a prime and valuable way to do that. If the Province of BC were to bring cooperatives into their planning, we’d make an impact.

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2013 Budget Consultations - Incipe Cooperative

Provide your input to BC’s provincial budget – until October 18

By | Government Relations, Strategy and Advice | No Comments

It’s budget consultation time in British Columbia.

The government of British Columbia routinely engages in budget consultations prior to setting its provincial budget; this year, the deadline to make submissions is October 18.

Each year, the government of British Columbia engages in budget consultations, where the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services travels around the province, hosting forums and public meetings where residents of the province can make submission to the committee that can be considered and included in a report back to the Legislature prior to the submission of the provincial budget.  2013 Budget Consultations - Incipe Cooperative

Budget consultations are excellent opportunities for nonprofits, advocacy groups, membership associations, grassroots groups, and cooperatives to provide input directly to the provincial government on government operations.  The consultations are particularly useful opportunities if your group is one that has, as a part of its mandate or operations, a concern or advocacy positions on provincial government programs, because they give you a regular and formal opportunity to put your concerns on paper, and submit them either in person to a meeting of the committee or via submission of a written report.

We encourage all groups that feel that they have issues that they could comment on to offer a submission as part of the budget consultations.  Your submissions do not need to be in-depth, with hundreds of footnotes and written by a political scientist (though they could – check out our services, particularly Strategy and Advice) – but they should be reflective of your organization, your mandate, your goals, and be connected to provincial government programs, or reasonably linked.

Here are some other tips:

  • Don’t write your submission with one particular political party in mind. Think broadly, and remember that a change of government is likely only a few months away.
  • If you are basing a submission on facts that you and your organization know to be true, work on finding some citations from other organizations that support your recommendation, particularly if your recommendations rely on ‘facts’ or ‘figures.’
  • Do you need assistance in preparing a submission? Get in touch. The Incipe Cooperative can work with you to edit your submission, prepare it for submission, and get it into the hands of the provincial government. Don’t miss your chance.
  • Tell a story with your submission. Explain the background of your organization, why you think the work you do benefits the province, and explain how your experiences bring forward the suggestions you’re making.
  • Keep your suggestions connected to provincial government policy, but don’t be afraid to be pie-in-the-sky. Big ideas can be picked up at any time.
  • Don’t be late. Deadline for submissions is October 15.