Influencing Policy


OCA works on behalf of Ontario’s entire co‑operative sector to promote the advantages of the business model, and make meaningful change to legislation and regulation to improve the conditions for co‑operative businesses in Ontario. 

When OCA meets with MPPs and their staff, our goal is to educate first. Most MPPs do not understand the depth and breadth of the co‑operative movement and our positive social, economic and environmental impact in Ontario. When MPPs understand more about co‑operatives, we are then able to begin a dialogue with a goal of improving the business environment for our members. This includes changes to the Ontario Co‑operative Corporations Act to remove red tape, the inclusion of co‑operatives in government investment and granting opportunities, and advocating for an improved business environment.

It is important for member co‑operatives that experience challenges in their interactions with government, or that would like to access opportunities through government, to contact OCA. Our organization does our best work when we are collaborating with our members on messaging and relationship buildingIt is more likely that an entire co‑operative sector will benefit when we solve problems collaboratively.

We use a variety of methods to accomplish our government relations strategy and objectives:

  1. COMMITTEES. We have two active committees that advise and guide our Government Relations and Regulations initiatives. Learn more about them. 
  2. CONSULTATIONS. We lead and host sector consultations to help determine the key issues and challenges facing Ontario's co-operatives. Learn more about the status of our current legislative asks.
  3. MEMBER PROFILES. We develop and share member profiles with government to increase understanding of the socio-economic benefits of co-operatives to the economy. View some of our member profiles here
  4. MEETINGS. We organize and attend numerous meetings throughout the year with MPPs, key Ministers and government staff, to promote the sector and advocate for our key asks. We also organize and participate in co-op tours, which introduce MPPs to the co-operatives in their communities.
  5. CO-OP CAUCUS. The first All-Party Co-op Caucus was formed in 2015, with the purpose of discussing and supporting policies directly affecting co-operative enterprises. Its objectives are to promote the co-operative movement, to contribute to its development and to facilitate exchange and dialogue between representatives at Queen’s Park and co-operatives. Learn more
  6. QUEEN'S PARK RECEPTION & LOBBY DAY. We organize and host an annual spring reception at Queen's Park where our members, as well as co-operative leaders and key stakeholders are invited to meet and greet with MPPs and their staff. This event helps to raise the profile of the diversity and strength of the Ontario co-operative movement. In more recent years, we added a strategic lobbying component to this event, where members of our Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs committees attend a series of pre-planned meetings with key ministries prior to the evening reception. The main goal of these meetings is to promote and seek support of the sector's key recommendations. Learn more
  7. ADVOCACY TOOLS & RESOURCES. Over the years, OCA has developed a number of tools and resources to help support our members in both provincial co-op advocacy, as well as to lobby on behalf of their own co-operative business and sector. Access our current tools and resources here


Engage OCA!

Whether you have a local concern, interest in a government granting opportunity or an issue with the provincial legislation, OCA is here to help. There are many ways to get involved and work with us to meet our co‑operative sector’s advocacy goals. The first step is to reach out to our Member Relations Manager to discuss your specific advocacy needs. Our organization has resources to help with a wide variety of issues. The Government Relations Committee is another way to engage our organization and work on behalf of the co‑operative movement. The committee reviews the issues facing Ontario co‑operatives and develops strategies to address them. Our meetings include professional development for the committee members to remain current on the sector and advocacy techniques, updates from committee members on opportunities for advocacy and government insights and roundtable discussions to develop plans to address advocacy needs.