Cooperative Association Act Review

Cooperative associations (or “co-ops”) are corporations owned by the people who use and benefit from them.

The Cooperative Association Act provides rules for the incorporation and corporate governance of cooperative associations.

Cooperative associations have a long history in BC having been permitted since 1896 with the Co-operative Associations’ Act. The Act has been periodically reviewed since that time. The most recent version of the Act was introduced in 2001. Since that date, statutes governing societies, companies, and partnerships have all been reviewed and modernized. Stakeholders in the cooperative sector have requested a similar review and modernization of the Act.

Cooperative Association Act Review - Stage 1

Reviewing the Cooperative Association Act and its regulation is expected to be a multi-year project. Government will be looking to cooperatives, their members, staff, solicitors, and other stakeholders to provide input during two consultation periods: an initial consultation period that identified current issues followed by a second consultation period with proposed solutions to the issues identified during the first consultation period. The first stage of the review responded to requests for updates and modernization to support the efficient functioning of B.C.’s cooperative associations. The first stage of the review that ended on September 8, 2022 considered:

  • Updates to reflect the current practices of cooperatives
  • Streamlining administrative requirements
  • Updates to allow the use of modern technology in corporate governance
  • Clarifying and enhancing user-friendliness
  • Updates to reflect modern BC Registries practices and technology, including electronic filings
  • Addressing problems and concerns identified by stakeholders
  • Increasing consistency with other corporate statutes
  • Drawing on best practices from other jurisdictions

Cooperative Association Act Review – Stage 2

Learn more about Cooperative Association Act Review Stage 2 – Focused Feedback.

(Deadline: Aptil 30, 2023)

Public Nature of Consultation Process

The Ministry of Finance may share comments it receives with other branches of government, including Registries BC, which is responsible for the administration of the Cooperative Association Act. Freedom of information legislation may require that responses be made available to members of the public who request access.