…to Help Non-Profits, Small Organizations & Boards of Trade/Chambers of Commerce
The Surrey Board of Trade, BC Chamber of Commerce, Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce, and the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce wrote a joint letter to BC’s Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing, David Eby, on the administrative red tape the revised BC Lobbying Act of 2020 had for non-profits, small organizations, and chambers of commerce/ boards of trade. The group recently met digitally with Minister Eby also to explain their concerns and a pathway towards a solution.
Every meeting and outreach to the BC Government by non-profits, small organizations and boards of trade/chambers of commerce must be documented in the BC Lobbyist Registry. The amount of information and time it takes to document purpose, time, who was contacted, results, and so forth with the new rules amounts to unnecessary red tape.
Government relies on boards of trades/chambers of commerce (and other non- profits) to inform them of the issues of the day – either through policy or advocacy. The current requirements limit smaller organizations from finding resources and funds to adhere to the Act. As such they will either reduce or cease to do this good work, and as a result, government becomes less informed of current issues.
WHAT THE BUSINESS GROUPS WANT, IN SUMMARY:
Amendments to the BC Lobbying Act to alleviate the degree of administrative obligation:
- Only require the registration of an actual act of lobbying (letter, meeting, policy decision) upon completion, increase the 50-hour threshold to 200-hours for charities and not-for-profits, and eliminate the requirement for chambers of commerce and boards of trade altogether;
- Establish a more streamlined lobbying tracking report form and process; and,
- Remove accumulated lobbying reporting requirements when working with other organizations.
When it comes to economic recovery and identifying gaps and opportunities for the government, there should be no red tape and administrative burden to the chambers of commerce/boards of trade to speak to government.
Anita Huberman, Surrey Board of Trade, firstname.lastname@example.org
Katarina Anastasiadis, Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce, email@example.com
Colleen Clarke, Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fiona Famuluk, BC Chamber of Commerce, email@example.com