November 29, 2019 Message to Members
More About Lobby Day at the BC Legislature
After posting last week’s column about the BCPVPA’s November 18 visit to the BC Legislature, I’ve received so much interest from members – many thoughtful questions, positive feedback and requests to find out more – so I’d like to take the opportunity to continue that story in this week’s column. Although the opportunity was brand new to us, and exciting to navigate, it’s very familiar to many BC organizations.
As I mentioned last week, the opportunity is informally called ‘Lobby Day’, and it’s a chance for BC groups and associations to introduce both their work and their priorities to the MLAs and Ministers who attend their sessions. It’s a really interesting facet of the daily business at the BC Legislature, and quite truly democracy in action: there are groups booked virtually every day that the Legislature is in session, some coordinating luncheons and after-work gatherings, and others organizing smaller meetings and presentations with MLAs and their staff.
Organizations that take advantage of this opportunity to meet with the provincial government represent a very broad spectrum of business, non-profit and labour enterprises. Recent visitors represented construction and resource interests, like the Canadian Home Builders Association, the Electrical Contractors Association and the Truck Loggers Association; health and research interests, like the Family Hearing Resource Society, the Denturists Association and LifeSciences BC; non-profit initiatives like Big Brothers & Big Sisters and Science World; and labour interests like the BC Nurses Union and the CLAC. Recent visitors also included professional associations like the Law Society of BC, and groups with an education focus like the Alliance of Students and post-secondary educators UFV and SFU.
The common objective of these groups is to have their voices heard by the provincial government, whether they are bringing forward a specific issue or focused on building a strong network that will benefit their organization over time. Through our luncheon and seven small-group meetings on November 18, we were able to speak directly with more than 40 MLAs, a half dozen of whom were Ministers. Some representatives who intended to meet with us were delayed by government business, and these MLAs received a package of our information.
It was such an honour and a privilege for me and BCPVPA senior staff to present the scope of your work and challenges to your local MLAs. Our ferry journey home on Monday night was a great time for reflection on the day, and on our next steps. I want to thank you for your continued passion about the work that you do, and for reaching out and expressing your interest in the work that we do on your behalf.