The recent sale of Mountain Equipment Co-op without its members’ consent has exposed significant vulnerabilities related to federal and provincial legislation. The current acts clearly do not provide adequate protection of members’ rights or recognition of the co-operative difference.
To wrap up Co-op Week 2020, Cooperatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC) held a National Town Hall titled One Co-op, Every Co-op. This event brought together Canadian co-operators and mutualists to reflect on solutions to better protect the interests of co-operative members and preserve the democratic principles that co-operatives and mutuals are founded on and operate by. Indeed, “MEC’s situation revealed gaps in our provincial/federal legal framework surrounding co-operatives which we will need to address.” observed André Beaudry, CMC’s Executive Director.
Attended by more than 150 guests from across the country, as well as internationally, the meeting demonstrated the interest of more than two-thirds of participants in having CMC establish national tables to address gaps in our legal framework and assess the potential for a national governance program that could be linked to an accreditation model. CMC will be inviting its membership and members of the broader co-op/mutual sector to recommend experienced sector leaders and experts in the field, who will contribute their time and expertise towards the success of these national tables, and plan our next steps as a pan-Canadian community.
Seeking Member Support
CMC is launching the One Co-op/Every Co-op Fundraising Campaign. CMC will incur new government relations, program review/development, legal services, communications and external relations costs in support of the above activities. As a smallscale organization with a national/bilingual mandate, we invite members and the broader coop/mutual sector to support our efforts by making a special contribution to the new One Coop, Every Co-op Fund.
With your help, we will address gaps identified by our new national legislative and governance leadership tables through legal, government relations, program review/development, communications and external relations activities.
All Canadian co-operatives and mutuals, as well as interested individuals, are invited to be part of the solution by participating in the One Co-op, Every Co-op Fund. By working together, we can ensure that the interests of members are protected and that Canada’s co-operative and mutual sector thrives.