Advocacy and Government Relations
On Co-op works to improve the regulatory and legislative environment for Ontario co-ops. We conduct sector-wide research to determine the most pressing common challenges Ontario co-ops face and then advocate for needed changes. We also profile our members and promote the socio-economic impact and diversity of the Ontario co-operative sector to the Provincial Government. Our end-goal is to be viewed by the government as Ontario’s Co-op experts and to be consulted accordingly.
- 2017 Queen's Park Reception
- 2017 QP Sponsors, Donors & Co-op Suppliers
- Co-op and Sector Advocacy
2017 QUEEN’S PARK RECEPTION
Our annual Queen’s Park Receptions provide the Ontario co-operative sector with opportunities to meet, greet and inform their Ministers and MPPs about the unique challenges they face, as well as the social and economic benefits that co-operatives bring to the province. It is also an opportunity to come together as one voice and share the 3 KEY ASKS that would help Ontario's co-operatives to develop and thrive in today's economic environment.
This year's Reception, held on May 10th, was a great success! Close to seventy representatives from over 35 unique co-operative organizations attended, along with 14 Ministers, 24 MPPs and a number of staffers. Our delegates were thrilled that Finance Minister Charles Sousa, and Minister of Government and Consumer Affairs, Tracy MacCharles, were also present!
Highlights from the evening included speeches from the Finance Minister, as well as the three All-party Co-op Caucus Chairs, who each recognized the contributions that co-operatives make to the province and the need to support them.
A variety of appetizers and beverages were passed around while networking took place, and included a number of delicious goodies provided by co-operatives across the province, including milk, cream, cheese, coffee, tea, chocolates and cookies!
View the post-event media release from May 16, available in the Downloads section of the right-hand toolbar!
2017 QP Sponsors, Donors & Co-op Suppliers
We would like to recognize the following organizations who supported this year's reception through their generous sponsorships:
Platinum Sponsors ($2,000)
- Common Ground Co-operative & Lemon & Allspice (cookies for gift bags)
- Gay Lea Foods Co-operative (milk, cream & cheese for reception)
- La Siembra (minis and chocolate bars for gift bags)
- MEC (business card draw prize)
- St. Albert Cheese Co-op (cheese for reception)
- The Mustard Seed Co-op (gifts for Co-op Caucus Chairs)
- Planet Bean Coffee/Sumac Workers Co-operative (coffee and tea for reception)
The Regulatory Affairs Committee - a broad, sector-based group of co-op, sector and legal experts - meets (as needed) to address desired changes in co-op legislation and regulations. Quarterly meetings are held with FSCO and other government agencies to promote the co-operative sector’s common regulatory aims. For more information/ detail visit the “Regulations” page.
Jointly with CCO, our francophone counterpart, On Co-op facilitates a sector-wide Government Relations Committee. The Committee works with policy advisors, elected officials and government staff to to raise awareness of co-operative issues, barriers, challenges and opportunities. In late 2015, the Committee facilitated the first-ever non-partisan, all-party Co-op Caucus at Queen's Park. Meetings of the Caucus are held approximately every two months while the House is sitting.
The all-party Co-op Caucus is made up of the following three government representatives:
SELF-ADVOCATE REGIONALLY (OR AS A SECTOR)
You know your industry best! We have created tools for the sector to do their own grassroots co-op advocacy, and to help us raise the profile of co-ops provincially!
There are a variety of resources on our “Advocacy Tools” page that provides co-op advocates with promotional materials and guidance they can use for meeting with government. We also highly suggest getting involved in your local/ Regional Co-op Network, or a sector-specific co-operative network, and advocate together as a group.
Contact Peter Cameron (see below) to find networks near you. On Co-op also cultivates new networks via our Roundtables and Regional Conferences. These connections, as well as your status as a constituent, will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your advocacy efforts!