Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation

 La Fédération canadienne des coopératives de travail

2016 Newsletter
Vol 8, Issue 4



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Month Year Vol 1, Issue 1
 CWCF News
CWCF's upcoming Conference
The 25th anniversary Conference is coming up fast:  Nov. 3rd- 5th.  Register here. For more information about our Conference, see below or visit our website   here.
 Welcome new members  
HASTe Workers' Cooperative, Vancouver 
  is British Columbia's leading active and safe routes to school programmer and resource centre. They are the Hub for Active School Travel (HASTe) and work with communities and partners across the province to connect kids, schools and communities through walking and cycling.
Ram Wools Yarn Co-op, Winnipeg
was incorporated in 2009 as the succession plan of the previous owner of Ram Wools. They are continuing the business of providing quality yarn craft supplies to the community as well as being an accessible market place for local artisans and crafts people. 
In This Issue
CWCF-CoopZone 2016 Conference
CWCF AGM Board Candidates
Melanie Conn - Winner of 2016 Mark Goldblatt Award
International Worker Co-op Forum, Quebec City
Winnipeg Youth Co-op Mobilising Event
Health Care Co-operatives Federation of Canada AGM
Frontières : l'agroforesterie se développe
The Art of Making Decisions Together
The Loomio Handbook: A roadmap for worker-owned co-operatives
Profile of Peopls's Ride
Les coopératives de travail comme alternative aux ESOPs
Première loi grecque sur les coopératives sociales et de travail associé bientôt discutée au parlement national
The 3rd International Summit of Cooperatives 2016
CWCF-CoopZone 2016 Conference

CWCF AGM: Board Candidates
This year there are 2 seats up for election on the CWCF Board.  They are for the following positions: one - Prairies/ NWT/ NU Region, and one - At-large. At this point, there is one declared candidate for the At-large position: incumbent Yuill Herbert, but no one yet for the Prairies position.  Prairies Region incumbent Jamie Campbell is not re-offering.  

It is possible to make nominations for these positions up to and including from the floor of the AGM, taking place in Vancouver on Nov. 5th.  To be eligible to run, a candidate must represent a worker co-op or regional federation member in good standing.  Information about the AGM/Conference is available on our home page,  We will provide the statements/biographies of the candidates who have declared with the AGM Kit.  CWCF has a set of diversity criteria for the board which candidates may complete or not, at their option.  

The Nominating Committee members are:  BC Region Director Lee Fuge ( and Quebec Region Director Jessica Provencher ( with staff support from Executive Director Hazel Corcoran (  If you would like more information about running for the Board, please contact one of them.  
Melanie Conn  - Winner of 2016 Mark Goldblatt Award

CWCF is thrilled to announce the winner of the 2016 Mark Goldblatt Achievement Award:  Melanie Conn.  The Award will be presented at the Solidarity Supper during CWCF's AGM/Conference, on November 3rd. 
Melanie is a community activist and feminist who has been working in co-op and community economic development (CED) in Vancouver since the 1970s. She has worn many hats to implement co-op ideas: founding member and director of the East End Food Co-op, CCEC Credit Union, Plane Jane Construction and the Yew Street Housing Co-op. As a member of Devco, a worker co-operative of consultants, Melanie has provided technical and development assistance for dozens of new co-ops. She also designs and delivers train-the-trainer programs and other curriculum related to co-operatives.  She was the first Director of SFU's Certificate Program for CED Professionals which she designed in response to the need for professional development opportunities for people working in CED.
She is a founding member, director and marketing manager of Common Thread, an innovative co-op that provides marketing and production coordination for local women who thrive in a flexible work environment. Common Thread upcycles street banners into delegate bags and other beautiful and useful products.
(CWCF's Merit Award was named for Mark Goldblatt last year.  Mark, who died in February 2015, had been the President of CWCF for 14 years until 2007.  He was a lifelong champion of co-operation and a visionary leader, whose legacy we honour.)

 International Worker Co-op Forum /la Rencontre internationale de la coopération du travail
**Le français suit.**  
You are invited to participate in the International Worker Co-op Forum to be held in Quebec City, Friday, October 14th with co-op tours in the afternoon of Oct. 13th. In the program: Co-operative tours (October 13th, from 3 - 6 pm), a portrait of the movement of worker cooperatives worldwide, a panel on various styles of management in worker co-ops, and more. For more information, see the preliminary program at the link below.  This event is organized by le Réseau de la coopération du travail du Québec (Quebec Worker Co-op Network) in collaboration with CWCF.    Click this link to register: 

The Program is available here.
Le français:
Vous êtes invités à participer à la Rencontre internationale de la coopération du travail qui aura lieu à Québec vendredi le 14 octobre, avec des visites de coopératives en après-midi du 13 octobre.
Au programme:
Visites de coopératives (le 13 octobre de 15h à 18h), portrait du mouvement de la coopération du travail à travers le monde, panel sur les différents mode de gestion collective par les travailleurs et plus encore.
Pour en savoir plus, consultez la programmation préliminaire, disponible au lien ci-bas.  Cette Rencontre est organisée par le Réseau de la coopération du travail du Québec avec la collaboration de la Fédération canadienne des coopératives de travail.

Cliquez sur ce lien pour vous inscrire:

Le Programme est disponible ici.

Winnipeg Youth Coop mobilising event + Job fair October 22
A youth conference and celebration for doers, social entrepreneurs, volunteer enthusiasts, connectors and any and all young people (ages 18ish - 30ish) that want to make a difference in their community!

Meet like-minded people, get involved, have lunch on us (coffee and a light breakfast as well!), and learn from others who have already done it about how you can re-ignite and build the co-operative movement to help your community today and in the long term! 

Find out more in the about page! RSVP for free through the website!
Take the next step by joining us to:
  • Learn about how & why students ignited a social movement at their school that lead to an explosion in cooperative social entrepreneurship, from Montreal student activists and social innovators that helped make it happen
  • Learn from a variety of local coop entrepreneurs and enthusiasts about their how & why, challenges and successes!
  • Celebrate cooperative education and learners
  • Discover opportunities to get involved locally (jobs, networking, and volunteering!)
  • Strategize about building momentum around community needs and projects!
  • And, who knows, maybe ignite a youth cooperative movement!
This action-oriented event is organised on behalf of, and because of the generosity of, the Chair of Cooperative Enterprises at the University of Winnipeg, and Populus, a new youth-driven cooperative and network.

Health Care Co-operatives Federation of Canada AGM 
You are invited to join us for our Annual General Meeting at YsOwl Maclure Co-op, Ottawa.  And for Hans Kai training, also at YsOwl.  Oct 20-21.
This invitation is extended to all who are interested in community owned Health, Wellness and Social Services, and who want to understand and promote strategies to reduce suffering and cost by focusing on wellness.  For more information please contact Vanessa Hammond at or visit their website.
Frontières : l'agroforesterie se développe

La Coop des Frontières poursuit le développement de son tout nouveau secteur agroforestier qui rassemblera les propriétaires et les producteurs forestiers et agricoles de la région de la Montérégie-Ouest.

L'objectif principal du secteur est de créer une structure qui permettra aux propriétaires de boisés de se rassembler au sein d'un même organisme de gestion. Ainsi, les membres locaux seront représentés auprès des principaux acteurs et décideurs de l'industrie forestière, ce qui permettra un aménagement durable et une meilleure connaissance du potentiel du territoire, au profit des propriétaires. Lire plus ici

The Art of Making Decisions Together
By Matt Grillo
[Editor's note: the following short article was first published in 2001, in  GEO Newsletter #44: Democracy within Co-opsGEO republished it in September, 2016.  Collective Copies now has 33 years in operation and is still going strong.]

This is still relevant for worker co-operatives today.   Click here to read the full article.

The Loomio Handbook: A roadmap for worker-owned cooperatives

The Loomio team. Photo_
September 6, 2016
Loomio  is a worker-owned cooperative building open-source software to  help organizations and communities with collaborative decision making. Based in New Zealand, the co-op is part of  Enspiral , a collaborative network of social enterprises. Loomio's vision is to create a world where it's easy for anyone to participate in decisions that affect them.
The Loomio Co-op Handbook provides a behind-the-scenes look at the co-op: what inspired it, how the organization plans and implements its work, how it is organized, and its values as a co-operative social enterprise.

The handbook serves as an overview of a pioneering digital cooperative and a roadmap for other worker-owned cooperatives. It details how the organization strategizes and plans, how it uses work sprints to "maintain agility, clarity and accountability," how it self-organizes into working groups, and how it uses a collaborative process to prioritize product development.

In addition to the practicalities of running a worker-owned cooperative, the Co-op Handbook also offers insights into how Loomio looks after its people, from prioritizing well-being and conflict resolution to professional development, and more.

If you're creating a worker-owned co-op, or  platform co-op, this will be a good resource to have in your toolbox. In the following video, Loomio's co-founder Ben Knight shares his story and some insights into self-organizing communities.
To see more and get the handbook click  here.

Profile of People's Ride: a co-operative, driver-owned alternative to Uber
People's Ride  is a co-op ride-hailing company in Grand Rapids, Michigan: drivers own the service in common and collectively decide how to spend its profits (for example, on deploying an app to go with its website); for-profit competitors like Uber take 30% commissions from their drivers and deliver them to investors, while People's Ride spends all the revenue paying drivers and improving the service. To read more click here.

Les coopératives de travail comme alternative aux ESOPs (États-Unis)
N u m é r o 26
Bulletin de veille stratégique de la
Direction de l'entrepreneuriat collectif

Aux États-Unis, d'ici les 15 prochaines années, 12 millions d'entreprises détenues par des babyboomers changeront de mains. Alors que le nombre de plans d'actionnariat des employés (ESOPs) est en croissance, ils ne constituent peut-être pas la solution idéale pour toutes les entreprises, particulièrement les plus petites comptant moins de 50 travailleurs pour qui la mise en place de tels plans représente des coûts administratifs importants. Une option envisageable serait alors de convertir ces entreprises en coopératives de travailleurs. À la différence du modèle ESOP typique, chaque travailleur a une part égale et un vote égal dans l'entreprise. Le modèle coopératif est aussi potentiellement attrayant pour les jeunes qui veulent pouvoir jouer un rôle plus important dans leur milieu de travail sans attendre de gravir les échelons de l'entreprise traditionnelle.

Première loi grecque sur les coopératives sociales et de travail associé bientôt discutée au parlement national  (Grèce)
N u m é r o 26
Bulletin de veille stratégique de la
Direction de l'entrepreneuriat collectif

Le gouvernement grec a rédigé un projet de loi sur « l'Économie sociale et solidaire et le développement de ses agences » qui sera bientôt discuté au parlement grec. Tandis qu'une partie de la loi porte sur l'Économie sociale et solidaire, la plupart des dispositions visent en fait à définir et à réglementer les coopératives sociales et de travail associé. 

The 3rd International Summit of Cooperatives 2016 
The International Summit of Cooperatives is a biennial gathering where leaders of cooperative and mutual enterprises get together to discuss their concerns about the current and future business challenges they all share.

The 2016 International Summit of Cooperatives, being held  October 11-13, 2016 , will welcome international experts to share with participants their vision,  knowledge ,  and   perspective   on challenges   and   future   prospects  facing cooperative  and  mutual enterprises.

CWCF Executive Director Hazel Corcoran will be co-moderating the sectoral meeting of Industry, Services and Energy Co-operatives, which is convened by our international association, CICOPA.  Presenters from the international worker co-op movement in this session will include:  Bruno Roelants, CICOPA; Patrick Lenancker,CG-SCOP (France), José Orbaiceta, Cooperar, Argentina; and Arantza Laskurain, Secretary General of the Mondragon Corporation, Spain. 

The Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation (CWCF) is a national, bilingual grassroots membership organization of and for worker co-operatives, related types of co-operatives (multi-stakeholder co-ops and worker-shareholder co-ops), and organizations that support the growth and development of worker cooperatives.  CWCF's e-newsletter is available free of charge to anyone with an e-mail address and an interest in worker co-operative developments in Canada.
Please send any comments and suggestions to: 


Kaye Grant 
Editor of CWCF Newsletter
(204) 257-1198