Volume 11 Issue 2
CWCF March 2019
Bringing CWCF's New Strategic Plan to Life


Since its founding in 1991, CWCF has had a vision of growing and strengthening the Canadian Worker Co-op movement, and in recent years, we've decided to take it to the next level. At the 2017 CWCF conference, members  asked the Board and staff for a bold strategic plan, one that went beyond the status quo. As a result, a team led by Russ Christianson of Rhythm Communications conducted extensive consultations with CWCF's members and others on their vision for the future of Canada's worker co-op movement.

In the consultation process, one participant came up with the idea of a bicycle as a metaphor for the movement - a bicycle on a sunny day, propelled by a tailwind. It's an apt metaphor for our state of affairs, for we believe the future of the worker co-op movement in Canada is bright, provided we can harness our members' energy behind it.
CWCF's members approved the strategic plan unanimously at our 2018 conference. Now comes the exciting (and challenging) part. CWCF is in a relatively stable position, but given the upheaval happening in the Canadian economy, society, and environment, and indeed, around the world, mere stability is an insufficient goal to strive for. Issues such as climate change and precarious unemployment present a crisis, but also an opportunity for the Canadian worker co-op movement, one we hope you'll join us in seizing, working more collaboratively with the Social and Solidarity Economy. We want your continued participation -  so here's a primer on what we've done so far, what we've got coming up, and where we want your input.

In This Issue
Upcoming CWCF Networking Events
As part of our commitment to increased member engagement in our strategic plan, CWCF is looking to increase the number of social events we have. Here are some upcoming ones. Hope to see you there!
  • Halifax: Workforce Realities in Atlantic Canada and the Worker Co-op Response: Monday, March 25,  6 to 7:30 p.m.+ Glitter Bean Café, 5896 Spring Garden Road. (Posters are available here and here).  Most parts of Atlantic Canada are already or soon will be in a situation where there will be more jobs than workers; owners of companies will want to sell their businesses and there may not be buyers. Even large cities like Halifax and Moncton are starting to see this effect of demographic changes in our region. Hazel Corcoran, CWCF Executive Director, will be among the presenters, discussing how these demographic challenges can be opportunities for greater co-operative development, specifically worker co-ops, as well as the supports available from the Federation to assist workers and business owners. Hazel will also stay afterward for informal discussion with worker co-op members, co-op developers, and others with interest.  CDR-Acadie in collaboration with CWCF also held a similar event in Sackville, NB, on March 11, and others are planned in Campbellton, NB on March 19, and  Chéticamp, NS on March 26. Register for the Halifax and Campbellton events for free on EventBrite, for the Chéticamp event, please email   
  • Toronto: Worker Co-op Happy Hour: Saturday, April 6, 2019 from 3 - 5:30 p.m., Urbane Cyclist Worker Co-op, 280 College St. Worker Co-ops in Toronto & area are invited to a Meet-&-Greet to meet Canadian Worker Co-op Federation (CWCF) Board & staff, meet each other, & share stories (please share the poster here).  
  • Winnipeg: Worker Co-op Meet-and-Greet, Evening of Thursday, May 2, in Winnipeg (more details to come).  In attendance will be CWCF's Board President and Executive Director.
Worker Co-op Summit/Sommet de la cooperation du travail, Quebec, June 17, 2019
Quebec City

**Le français suit**

This Worker Co-op Summit will be an unparalleled opportunity for learning, networking, and being inspired -  aimed at members of co-ops associated with  CWCF and/or the three Quebec worker co-op federations:  the Quebec " Reseau COOP" or Network of Worker Co-operation, as well as the  Federation of Paramedic Cooperatives of Quebec and the  Quebec Federation of Forestry Co-ops

The date is Monday, June 17, 2019:
-  9 am - 5 pm:  Keynote, Plenary discussions, and break-out sessions.
-  Evening: Networking Reception

The location is:  the House of Co-operation / la Maison de la Coopération, downtown Quebec City.

Highlights include:
- Sessions of practical interest to worker co-operators, with a focus on Governance issues in worker co-ops
- Video of Keynote Presentation by  Noam Chomsky (!!!)
- Presentation  by US FWC Executive Director Esteban Kelly  
- Roll-out of CWCF's exciting new Strategic Plan.

Simultaneous interpretation, French and English, will be provided.  

This Summit will take place on the day before the start of the Congress of Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC) ( https://canada.coop/en/events/cmc-congress-2019-quebec-city), on June 18-20, also in Quebec City.  We encourage people to consider attending both events.  

We will seek to secure accommodations in both a nearby hotel and at a university residence.  More details will follow in the near future.  In the meantime, if you are interested, please mark your calendars!  

**Le français*** 
Le Sommet de la coopération du travail sera une occasion sans pareille d'apprentissage, de réseautage et d'inspiration - destinée aux membres des coopératives associées à la  FCCT et / ou aux trois fédérations de coopératives de travail du Québec:  le Réseau COOP ou Réseau de coopération du travail du Québec, ainsi que  la Fédération des coopératives des paramédics du Québec et  la Fédération québécoise des coopératives forestières
La date est le lundi 17 juin 2019:
 - 9h à 17h: Conférences, discussions plénières et ateliers.
-  Soirée: Réception de réseautage 
Le tout aura lieu à la Maison de la coopération, au centre-ville de Québec. 
Les points forts incluent:
- Sessions présentant un intérêt pratique pour les coopérateurs de travail, en mettant l'accent sur les questions de gouvernance dans les coopératives de travail
- Vidéo de la présentation principale de  Noam Chomsky (!!!)
- Exposé d' Esteban Kelly, Directeur exécutif du FWC américain
- Déploiement du nouveau plan stratégique passionnant de la CWCF.
 Une interprétation simultanée en français et en anglais sera fournie.
Ce Sommet aura lieu la veille du Congrès de Coopératives et mutuelles du Canada ( https://canada.coop/fr/evenements/congres-cmc-2019-ville-quebec) les 18 et 20 juin, également à Québec. Nous encourageons les gens à envisager d'assister aux deux événements.  Nous chercherons à vous loger à la fois dans un hôtel voisin et dans une résidence universitaire. Plus de détails suivront dans un futur proche. En attendant, si vous êtes intéressé, veuillez marquer vos calendriers!

Save the Date: CWCF Conference October 24 - 26, 2019

CWCF's annual conference is happening in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia. A much-anticipated opportunity for members of the Canadian worker co-op movement to connect, you won't want to miss this year's event. Look for more details in the coming months. 
CWCF Communications Survey 

CWCF is looking at making some changes to our communications, including a switch to a monthly newsletter and an increased presence on social media, and we want your input. The survey we've created will only take about seven minutes, but will provide us with valuable guidance on how we can best serve our members. We hope you'll complete it.

CWCF Executive Director Hazel Corcoran Joins CCEDNET Board of Directors 

One of three directors recently appointed to the board, Hazel Corcoran has been involved in all aspects of worker co-operative support including capitalization (with the CWCF's Tenacity Works Investment Fund), technical assistance, research and writing. Trained as a lawyer at Dalhousie University, and fluent in English, French, and (partly) Spanish, Hazel has served the co-operative movement in many capacities, including as Director of le Conseil canadien de la coopération (1994-2005), and coordinator of the CoopZone Developers' Network (2009 until January, 2018).

Governor General of Canada Sings Praises of COCO Cafe

Spencer Sterritt, Nanaimo News Now

A visit from an esteemed guest at COCO Cafe in Cedar highlighted how much of a difference it makes to hire those who might get overlooked or left behind.

Governor General Julie Payette met kitchen staff and stayed for lunch at COCO Cafe in Cedar, a much-lauded cafe which employs people with disabilities. Her Saturday visit was part of a four-day B.C. tour.

Surrey Students Learn the Ins and Outs of Business Through Workers' Co-operative

Lauren Collins, Cloverdale Reporter

A workers' co-operative program is helping Surrey students create and start their own business while also building "longtime places that kids and mentors feel connected to one another."

From a media company to popcorn, Solid State Industries is working with youth in Surrey to create workers' co-operatives. More than a dozen Surrey students are learning about what it takes to start and operate a new business with a program offered in partnership with the Surrey School District.

Solid State,  according to its website, builds workers' co-operatives with newcomer youth in Surrey with the support of mentors, advisers and community partners to build "a solidarity economy hub and a network of worker-owned co-operative businesses."

Curious About Co-ops? We're Here to Help

Each For All
First, listen as Lisa Furfaro of the BC Co-op Association and Erin Hancock of Saint Mary's University share their co-operative journeys and recommendations for getting started.
Find an event, a co-operative or a group of like-minded folks who share your values of working together towards common goals, giving back to the community and taking care of the planet.
As we like to say here at Each For All - "Try co-operating, you'll feel better for it!"
Then check out the following links for a host of resources.
Co-operatives First Offers Online Co-op Creator 

A co-operative is a business and requires the same level of energy, skill and commitment as any other business. Starting and building a business can be complicated, confusing and frustrating. The Co-op Creator is designed to assist with that process. Whether you're just starting out or have the business up and running, the Co-op Creator developed by Co-operatives First has tools and resources to support your work.

The Co-op That's Keeping Community Money Out of Big Banks

Ivy Brashear, YES! Magazine

Me'Lea Connelly  is from the Bay Area of California, but she has deep roots in Minnesota. Her mother's family was one of the first to migrate to the state after slavery ended. When she was 15, her parents divorced, and she moved with her mother to Minneapolis.

"I've always just felt more at home here," Connelly said. "All my ancestors are just calling me home."

But that home, in Minneapolis' Northside, has a severe shortage of shopping centers, grocery stores, and banks. In 2017, Minnesota was named the second-most unequal state for Black people in a study of Black and White inequality by 24/7 Wall St., a financial news and opinion website.

Scaling Social Justice: A Latinx Immigrant Worker Co-op Franchise Model

Emma Yorra, Nonprofit Quarterly

Araceli Dominguez, an immigrant housecleaner living in Staten Island, New York, has a lot to be proud of. She is a founding member of a local branch of Brightly®, a worker-owned cleaning cooperative with ambitions to be part of a newly created franchise model looking to scale nationally. She has worked hard with her fellow worker-owners to launch their business. "Being in this co-op fills me with a hunger to learn," she notes. "I am so full of pride. I am an inspiration to my daughters that they too can achieve their goals. Without this, I wouldn't be the person I am today; I would be a different Araceli."

Worker cooperatives are a valuable tool for creating inclusive businesses owned by those commonly exploited in the mainstream economy, especially often-abusive domestic work. The sector has boomed in recent years with unprecedented levels of public and philanthropic support (both in terms of funding and legislation). Worker co-ops pay higher wages than conventional firms while also generating higher profits via increased productivity. They are often transformative for their members and effective at building community wealth.


Colloque À Nous Les Quartiers, 12-14 avril // Call for Contributions: "From the Ground Up" Conference, April 12-14

**le français suit**

Conference date: April 12-14, 2019 in Montreal
Location: The Canadian Center for Architecture, 1920 Baile St.

This visionary international conference is organized by the citizens of Milton Parc and solidarity economy pioneers and is affiliated with the  Milton-Parc Citizens' Committee (MPCC), which fought for the creation of what is now the largest community housing project on a community land trust in North America. The collective  From The Ground Up has been created as a citizen-led educational project to renew our vision and broaden our collective ambitions for community control.
After various successful events over the last year, we invite you to a three-day conference! Speakers from across North America are expected, such as Saki Hall (Cooperation Jackson, Mississippi), Lorena Zarate (President of Habitat International Coalition, Mexico City), Protec-Terre, and the first meeting of a new Canadian network of community land trusts for housing.  We are looking for introductory and advanced workshops, and also brief presentations. We also welcome the proposals for cultural activities (games, tours, etc.), artistic activities (music, exhibitions, etc.), and performances. Go for it!
**le français** 
Colloque les 12, 13 et 14 Avril 
Au Centre Canadien d'Architecture (CCA) 
Les prix de l'immobilier augmentent plus rapidement que les revenus et le coût de la vie. Des locataires se font évincer par des propriétaires. Les condominiums poussent partout et des quartiers s'embourgeoisent au détriment des populations locales. Cette tendance est évitable et des solutions communautaires, économiques, politiques et démocratiques existent. Suite à l'initiative du  Comité de citoyen.ne.s de Milton Parcle plus grand projet de logement communautaire sur  une fiducie foncière en Amérique du Nord, un colloque est lancé afin d'éveiller les citoyens et citoyennes initiés et non initiés de tous les quartiers de Montréal.
Joignez-vous aux groupes et conféren.cier.cière.s annoncé.e.s, tel que que Saki Hall de Cooperation Jackson, (Mississippi, E.U.), Lorena Zarate, présidente de Habitat International Coalition (HIC) (Méxique), Protec-Terre, oeuvrant dans le domaine des fiducies foncières agricoles, et un nouveau réseau canadien des fiducies foncières communautaires d'habitation.

Nous sommes à la recherche d'ateliers pour débutant.e.s et avancé.e.s,mais aussi de propositions de présentations brèves. Nous appelons aussi les proposition d'activités culturelles (jeux, visites, etc.), artistiques (musique, exposition, etc.) dont les performances. Osez!

Registration Open and Bursaries Available  
Master's, Graduate Diploma and Certificate in Co-operative Management

Planning your career, organizational succession or leadership development? These Master's level business programs are designed to meet the growing demands of co-operative and credit union managers. From marketing to accounting and finance, co-operatives have a significant opportunity to take unique approaches that optimize this business model.

Co-operative Management Education will equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to propel your co-operative or credit union towards business excellence while deepening the principles and values at the core of the co-operative economy.


Communities Magazine Seeking Submissions

Communities  magazine is seeking submissions for issue #183, "The Shadow Side of Cooperation." The issue will be out in September 2019. Please submit your article idea as soon as you can, before writing/submitting a full article. Your final article must be in by Friday, May 17, 2019.

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