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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

‘Our province is home to incredibly innovative companies that want to play a larger role in addressing the challenges and opportunities we face’ -- Oak Bay Gordon Head MLA Andrew Weaver

BC Finance Minister
Carole James
Late last week, British Columbia became the first province in Canada to create the option of ‘benefit companies’ ... a new way to do business that benefits people, communities and future generations.

As government, we’re proud to support B.C. businesses that not only want to do well for their stakeholders, but also give back to their communities in important ways,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance.

This afternoon a spokesperson from the Finance Ministry indicated that by becoming the first jurisdiction in Canada to create benefit companies, British Columbia can ... position our economy for success as we work to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, and beyond.

This change to the Business Corporations Act will give businesses a new option when choosing a corporate structure for their company. A benefit company is a for-profit corporation committed to conducting its business in a responsible and sustainable manner, as well as promoting public benefits in addition to serving the interests of its shareholders. For example, the benefits could be artistic, charitable, cultural, economic, educational, environmental, literary, medical, religious, scientific and/or technological.

Benefit companies, however, do not receive benefits from the government, the Finance Ministry further indicated.  Instead, they stated, being a benefit company refers to their commitment to promoting public benefits in addition to serving stakeholder interests.

Playing a role in seeing this come about, was former Green Party MLA and leader, Andrew Weaver.
Oak-Bay Gordon Head
MLA Andrew Weaver

I was pleased to sponsor this bill and to collaborate with government to see it become the first ever opposition private members’ bill passed into law in BC”, Weaver commented, and then continue;

Our province is home to incredibly innovative companies that want to play a larger role in addressing the challenges and opportunities we face. This legislation helps position our province to be a leader on the cutting edge of global economic trends”.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION can be found at the Business Corporations Amendment Act (NO. 2) ...
Bill M 209 - 2019

NOTE ... a business that becomes a benefit company must:

  • specify its public benefit goals in its articles of incorporation, allowing investors to determine if the stated public benefit aligns with their investment and social goals; 
  • complete and publish an annual benefit report assessing the company’s performance in its promotion of its stated public benefits;
  • compare its progress against an independent, third-party standard;
  • share the report publicly by making it available at the company’s records office and on the company’s website, if it has one; and
  • require the company’s directors to balance the commitments in the benefit provision with their duty to act in the best interests of the company.


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