Executive Director's Report - January 2012 - CWCF Update

Greetings, members and friends of CWCF,

In this International Year of Co-operatives, CWCF is pleased to announce that we have set the dates and venue for our AGM - Conference 2012: from November 8 to 10, at the Canterbury Hills Centre in Ancaster, Ontario, near Hamilton. We held our 2007 conference at the same place, and it is a beautiful conference centre in an extraordinary environment in the protected Carolinian forest. (See attached photo.) This year our intention is prioritize the issues that are of greatest current interest to members. Please think about what you would most like to discuss and learn about, and we will approach you in a couple of months to seek your input. In any case, please send us your suggestions at any time! We will also prioritize exchanges between and among participants.


If your co-op is looking for ways to mark the International Year of Co-operatives, I suggest this canada2012.coop link, or the list of 31 ideas from the Ontario Co-op Association. On January 12th, the International Year of Co-ops 2012 will be officially launched, with at least one launch event in each province, and one in Ottawa! For more information, see: http://www.canada2012.coop/en/get_involved/Be-a-part-of-the-Canada-2012-launch or see the article at the end of the January 2012 newsletter.  There are high-profile speakers including politicians and co-op movement leaders, and there needs to be a good turn-out.  We strongly encourage worker co-operators to participate.  This is a unique and important opportunity, not to be missed!


I am happy to tell you that CWCF has welcomed several new members in the last few months: First Step Worker Co-operative (Salisbury, NB) – article here; Lotus Co-operative (Moncton, NB); Shift Delivery Co-op (Vancouver); and West End Food Co-op (Toronto). We did the orientation session for our new board member, Claude Jourdain, executive director of le RÉSEAU (network) of worker co-operatives of Quebec. We placed a new loan from the Tenacity Works loan fund, with Planet Bean in Guelph in December for their addition of a new café. We have also recently welcomed a new employee at CWCF, as RRSP Program Manager. This is Pamela Farrow, of Grand Pré, Nova Scotia. She replaces some of the functions of Lori Hough, who is retiring, and also Peter Hough, who works very part time now for CWCF. Peter is currently focused on delivering the CoopZone co-op development training program (a distance training program).


Lori Hough is retiring after 11 years at CWCF. She attended CWCF's first conference as a member of the Greenhouse Co-op.  Lori started doing CWCF’s bookkeeping in the year 2000.  She also worked as our conference administrator for several years. She was incredibly thorough and effective in both positions. She is an avid painter and gardener; the CWCF Calgary office enjoyed receiving her art sketches along with bookkeeping packages that she sent us.  Thank you so much, Lori, and enjoy your retirement! 


Denyse Guy, who was executive director of the Ontario Co-operative Association from 2001 - 2011, has been appointed executive director of the Canadian Co-operative Association, effective at the beginning of January 2012. Denyse replaces Carol Hunter, who recently left CCA to serve as executive vice-president, Member Relations and Corporate Services, for The Co-operators Group. CCA and le Conseil canadien de la coopération et de la mutualité are still in merger discussions, with a round of consultation of the CCA membership expected in the near future.


If you have an article you’d like to submit to a future newsletter, please send it to David Wilson, david@canadianworker.coop. As always, if you have a question or comment, please contact us.


Happy 2012!, Hazel Corcoran