Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation

 La Fédération canadienne des coopératives de travail

2016 Newsletter
Vol 8, Issue 1



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Month Year Vol 1, Issue 1
 CWCF News
CWCF's upcoming 25th Anniversary Conference
Save the date : November 3rd - 5th, with optional tours and social activities on Nov. 2nd, p.m.

Theme:  Solidarity Works - CWCF Celebrating 25 Years
La Solidarité nous réussit - la FCCT célèbre 25 ans

Keynote speaker:  Kathy Bardswick CEO, The Co-operators.

Please plan to join us as we mark, and make, worker co-op movement history, look to the bright future of the movement in Canada, and share in value-added sessions of practical relevance to worker co-operators.

 "Member Marketplace":
Sustainability Solutions Group (SSG)

"SSG has delivered pioneering, holistic projects that address society's most pressing challenges since 2001. We work with those who can enable the greatest positive change: local governments, institutions, design teams and artists.  We work to advance thriving communities.

"Sustainability" We understand sustainability as an ongoing process, rather than a static outcome. Each project is an iteration-the next is always our most progressive work yet.

SSG's Blog: The latest news, our efforts and our reflections on the next sustainability and climate challenges are all on our blog."

See below for more about SSG.

In This Issue
Worker/ Social Co-op Day, Quebec City, October 14th
CASC-ACE Conference, Calgary
Member Marketplace: Sustainability Solutions Group
CMC Congress, Winnipeg
Jessica Provencher a été honorée/ Jessica Provencher Honoured
Hazel Corcoran Elected to the Co-operator's Board.
Isabel Faubert named Executive Director of the Réseau
Prime Minister Honours Liberal Advocate for Co-operatives.
Urbane Cyclist Celebrates 19 Years & A New Location
CWCF's Winnipeg Worker Co-op Meet-&-Greet - a Success
Vancouver Needs a Freelancers' Co-op
Unitarianism & Cooperativism
SOCAN interviews CWCF about our Governance Practices
Kingston Losing Long-Standing Co-op
Transformer L'économie Pour Démocratiser La Société
What is the Outlook for the Economy in a Context of Financial Crises and Social Inequalities?
Gar Alperovitz on the United States' Shift to a Democratic Economy.
150 000 $ pour le secteur de l'agroalimentaire dans la région de la Capitale-Nationale - La Fiducie
What do we really know about worker co-operatives? /...Que savons-nous des coopératives de travail?
Chasing Utopia: Worker Ownership and cooperatives will not succeed by competing on capitalism's terms
Worker / Social Co-op Day: Quebec City, October 14, 2016 
From the last Worker Co-op Day at the 2014 Summit.

On October 14, 2016, in a parallel event to the Quebec International Summit, 
C WCF will co-host along with partner federations the Worker and Social Co-op
From the last Worker Co-op Day at the 2014 Summit.
 Day 2016.  This will take place at the "Maison de la coopération et de l'économie solidaire" (or Co-operation and Solidarity Economy House) in Quebec City. 

Knowing that our members generally cannot afford to attend the Summit, but wishing to provide an opportunity to network and share learnings with the numerous worker co-op leaders from Mondragon, France, Argent ina, Brazil, etc. in town for the Summit, we have organized this Day right after the Summit.  W hether you can attend the Summit or not, we invite you to this special event!  We are making a special call-out to youth to attend.  

Partner federations involved in the planning include le Réseau, and the US Federation of Worker Co-operatives. 
Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation 2016 Conference 

The Joint Conference of the Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation (CASC) and the Association of Cooperative Educators (ACE): has the theme of Energizing Communities: Co-operatives Nurturing Democratic Practice!  The conference will be held May 31 - June 3, 2016 at the University of Calgary. 

The CASC-ACE session line-up, including presentations by US FWC President Rebecca Kemble and past president John McNamara, can be found at:  It will include the first annual Mark Goldlbatt Memorial Lecture - on the Big Idea (to promote the co-operative model using popular culture), presented by Hazel Corcoran, Greg O'Neill, and the "Big Idea Band".  The Mark Goldblatt Lecture is part of the Opening Reception, in the evening of May 31st which is free and open to the public.  Sessions at the broader Congress of Learned Societies include Naomi Klein, Mayor Naheed Nenshi, etc.

Hazel will be presenting a session entitled:
"Taking Arizmendi From The San Francisco Bay Area To Calgary:  The Challenges Of Replicating A Replication Strategy."

Member Marketplace: Sustainability Solutions Group 

From SSG Newswire, April 26, 2016

The International Co-operative Alliance has published SSG's manual to help co-operatives report on sustainability

Sustainabilit y Rep orting for Co-operatives: A Guidebook explores the different types of reporting frameworks used by co-ops globally, the process of developing a chosen framework and how a co-op communicates results to members and interested stakeholders.

The Guidebook also provides guidance on how co-operatives can track their contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  You can read more about the report on ICA's website here, or you can download the report directly. 

From SSG Newswire February 29, 2016
SSG makes Green Municipal Fund's top five sustainability resources for 2016 
Our Brownfield Strategy guidebook for FCM (Federation of Canadian Municipalities) has been included and celebrated as one of their top five resources for 2016. The guidebook is t o inspire municipalities with plans to revive abandoned and contaminated spaces in their communities, with sustainability at its heart. 

These resources are designed to help municipalities learn and share from one another. 
Can you plan for good healthy communities?  

SSG assembled a set of land use scenarios and their potential health outcomes as part of the District of Squamish's Learning Lab - Exploring Health Tools for OCP Review Project. The purpose was to explore the potential impacts of different land use decisions on community health in the District using SSG's new ModelHealth tool. 
ModelHealth is an excel-based model, which utilizes land use archetypes to allow users to model current and alternative community land use scenarios without needing to collect and input GIS data. Outcomes are generated by the tool that have health implications, which include basic predictions on the types of travel people are engaging in, numbers of people exercising by travel on a daily basis, quantities of air pollution produced, and predicted mental health in accordance with access to nature. Watch this space for our ModelHealth (working title) site.
To find out more about SSG visit their website here: 

Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada 2016 Congress
This year's Co-operative Congress will take place in downtown at the  Fairmont Winnipeg Tuesday, June 14 th to Thursday, June 16 th.
CMC is proud to be hosting The Co-operative Congress 2016 with our local partners, the  Manitoba Co-operative Associationand the  Conseil de développement économique des municipalités bilingues du Manitoba.

In the heart of Canada, " The Peg" is a thriving city with  plenty to offer. Co-operative Congress 2016 will be all about co-op culture in Winnipeg and Manitoba. It will celebrate co-operative success stories and delve into co-operative challenges.  Congress participants will be able to explore the co-operative side of Winnipeg by bus and on foot, in French, English and Inuktitut! A Welcome Reception at the remarkable  Canadian Museum for Human Rights will kick it off, and the  program will continue from there.

Visit for more details and for regular updates on the program and activities.
Stay tuned for updates regarding this exciting event!

For more information or to recieve email updates about the 2016 Co-operative Congress, please contact  Ashley Denny, member relations at  613-239-6712, extension 255.
Jessica Provencher a été honorée pour son implication au sein du grand réseau coopératif et mutualiste québécois
Le Conseil québécois de la coopération et de la mutualité a procédé à la remise du Prix Majella-St-Pierre le jeudi 10 mars à l'occasion du Gala annuel de l'Ordre du Mérite coopératif et mutualiste québécois. Madame Jessica Provencher a été honorée pour son implication au sein du grand réseau coopératif et mutualiste québécois.
Jessica Provencher, membre du CA de la FCCT entre autres, se démarque par son fort leadership, par ses réalisations concrètes et porteuses, toujours empreintes des valeurs coopératives et d'intercoopération. Élément rassembleur dans son réseau, les engagements de Jessica dépassent ses intérêts personnels et sont bénéfiques pour tout le monde coopératif.
Hazel Corcoran Elected to The Co-operators' Board 
WINNIPEGApril 7, 2016 /CNW/ - The Co-operators welcomed two new directors to its board as the Canadian-owned insurance and financial services co-operative wrapped up its Annual General Meeting today in  WinnipegHazel Corcoran and  Bob Petryk, both from  Alberta, are the newest members of the organization's board of directors, replacing retiring directors  Dave Abel and  Albert De Boer.

A lawyer by training, Ms. Corcoran is the executive director of the Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation, a member of The Co-operators, and also of the CoopZone Developers' Network. She served as a delegate to The Co-operators representing the Federation since 2008 and is now a director at-large. In 2013, she was chosen to serve on the founding board of the newly created organization Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada, where she was then elected vice president in 2014.

Isabel Faubert Mailloux named Executive Director of the Réseau/
Nomination de Isabel Faubert Mailloux
à la direction générale du Réseau de la coopération
du travail du Québec (RÉSEAU)
Montréal, le 19 avril 2016 - Les membres du Conseil d'administration du Réseau de la coopération du travail du Québec (RÉSEAU) sont heureux d'annoncer la nomination de madame Isabel Faubert Mailloux à titre de directrice générale de l'organisation.
Isabel Faubert Mailloux œuvre dans le milieu coopératif depuis 17 ans. Elle a occupé différents postes au RÉSEAU depuis 2001, dont la coordination générale intérimaire. Elle a participé activement au rapprochement et à la fusion des deux organisations ayant donné naissance en 2007 au RÉSEAU, dont elle est membre fondatrice.

Isabel Faubert Mailloux possède une Maîtrise en administration des affaires (MBA pour cadres) spécialisée en entreprises collectives, un certificat de 2e cycle en Gestion des coopératives, un certificat en entrepreneuriat et un baccalauréat en Science politique spécialisé en relations internationales. Elle est également co-auteur de cinq cahiers de recherche produits par la Chaire de coopération Guy-Bernier (coopératives sociales italiennes, coopératives en milieu autochtone, commerce équitable et instruments de financement de l'économie sociale).

Motivée par la recherche d'une plus grande justice économique et sociale, elle s'intéresse depuis plus de 20 ans au développement local et au micro entrepreneuriat dans une optique de prise en charge des individus et des collectivités. Cela l'a naturellement conduit à vouloir travailler auprès des coopératives gérées par les salariés. Elle se passionne tout spécialement pour la démocratisation des milieux de travail et les processus de participation aux prises de décision en entreprise.

Le Conseil d'administration lui donne toute sa confiance pour positionner et développer le RÉSEAU en tout respect des valeurs et façons de faire de la coopération du travail.

Honourable Mauril Bélanger is Honoured
Prime Minister Honours Liberal Advocate for Co-operatives

On March 9, 2016 Mauril Bélanger, the long-serving MP for Ottawa Vanier, was made Honourary Speaker of the House of Commons by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his long service in Parliament. 

Bélanger, who was diagnosed last fall with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), was commended by Trudeau for his "grace and dignity" in fighting the disease. Already, his mobility is severely diminished and he speaks using a 'vo-coder' activated on a tablet he carries around. It was Bélanger's goal to one day be Speaker of the House of Commons and he had intended to run for that office after the last election, but was diagnosed with the disease days before the vote.

Bélanger has been involved with co-operatives in some way since he was about seven, so it was fitting the Ottawa-Vanier MP would become the Liberal party advocate for co-operatives. In a 2013 interview, Bélanger discussed his involvement with the Canadian co-op sector, which began about 50 years ago when he opened an account at a caisse populaire in his hometown of Mattawa, ON. He has also lived in a co-operative-like housing environment and said he sees the business model as playing an important role in the Canadian economy's future.
When 2012 was designated as International Year of Co-operatives, Bélanger approached then-interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae about taking on a new responsibility. At the time, Bélanger was serving as the party's language critic, but he had an idea for a new way he could make a difference - as Liberal advocate for co-operatives. Co-operatives, Bélanger explained to Rae, are all over Canada and play an important role in the country's economy. Rae accepted Bélanger's offer, but Bélanger had one more request: to be an advocate, not a critic, because it was a more positive connotation.
One of the early successes Bélanger achieved in his new role as Liberal party advocate for co-operatives was to use an Opposition day - a day in Parliament where the Opposition sets the agenda - to ask the House of Commons to appoint a special committee to examine the role of co-operatives in the Canadian economy. The House adopted the motion unanimously.

View the  VIDEO  or visit the  CBC Newsfeed

On April 14, 2016  The Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC) Board presented the Honourable Mauril Bélanger with its highest honour, The Achievement Award. The Achievement Award honors the outstanding contributions of men and women to the cause and the development of co-operatives and mutuals in Canada. This award recognizes Mr. Bélanger's exceptional contribution to promoting, developing and uniting co-operatives and mutuals in Canada.
"Mauril is recognized not only as a powerful ally, but also as a personal friend esteemed by many people within the co-operative movement" said Melvin Doiron, CMC Board Director and Chair of the Awards Committee. "Thank you Mauril. You are an outstanding co-operator." Read more

CWCF congratulates Monsieur Bélanger on this well-deserved honour, and thanks him for his passion and long-standing  commitment  to the Canadian co-operative movement. We wish him and his family continued strength and courage moving forward.

Urbane Cyclist Celebrates 19 Years & A New Location
Employee-owned shop now located on a major bike route
On Tuesday March 29th 2016, Urbane Cyclist Worker Co-op will celebrate its 19th birthday and grand re-opening at 280 College St., just west of Spadina. After 18 years on John Street, the worker-owned retailer has moved to a more modern premises steps from one of the busiest cycling intersections in Toronto.     
Founded in 1997, Urbane Cyclist has catered mainly towards commuters and cyclo-tourists, with a little bit of something for every cyclist. In the years since their opening cycling has seen a resurgence, especially as a means of urban transportation. Urbane has grown along with this segment, and is regularly ranked among the best bike shops in Canada. They now provide their expert knowledge and service to customers coast to coast via their extensive webstore.
Promotions for the grand opening at 280 College include Cycle Toronto membership or other gift with purchase over $50.00,  19% off selected cycling accessories, 10% off Urbane's in-house brand Urbanite bikes, and other giveaways with more details in-store.
Kathleen Banville
Urbane Cyclist Co-op -
280 College St.
Toronto, Ontario

416 979 9733

CWCF 's Winnipeg Worker Co-op Meet-&-Greet - a Success
  On April 4,  2016 the CWCF board and staff welcomed Winnipeg Worker Co-ops and CoopZone Developers to a gathering that was b oth inspiring and an oppo rtunity to connect and ge
t to know each other.  

Hosted at Neechi's open restaurant space, co -operators were led in some networking activities by Board Membe r Jessica Provencher.  We also had t he pleasure of  welcoming our local Co-operators' representative, Tracey Malone, who introduced herself and the group and member benefits which are available to CWCF members.   
We wish to thank everyone who attended, and also to Neechi for sharing their space. 

Vancouver Needs a Freelancer's Co-op - Here's How and Why
From Incipe's blog Site
By Kevin Harding,  April 18, 2016

There's something that many people in Vancouver know and experience daily: the life of a freelancer or a consultant. Our economy, while vibrant, is pushing people into nontraditional working relationships: we're no longer getting full-time jobs that allow for advancement within a company; instead, we're getting short-term contracts that are precarious, coupled with an environment that's reluctant to hire permanent employees.

Read the full article here.

Unitarianism & Cooperativism - April 17, 2016
Hazel presented at this unique event in Ottawa.

Unitarianism may be viewed as to religion what the Co-operative Movement is
to economic systems: a bottom-up, democratic, thoughtful way of organizing
activity, for mutual benefit. It is not a coincidence that the first formally
organized co-operative (in Rochdale, northern England in the 1840s) held its
initial meetings in the basement of a Unitarian Church. 

Other speakers included Kelly Storie from La Siembra, George Brown from the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op and the CoopZone Legal Network, and Beverlee McIntosh from the Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa.  The topic was very well received, and there is interest in following up among those involved in Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice.
SOCAN interviews Hazel about our Governance Practices 
SOCAN ( the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada) contacted CWCF to interview us about our governance, based on the fact that CWCF had previously won an award for its governance practices - from CCA several years ago.  

This was a 2-part interview by telephone. 

For more about SOCAN  see their annual report:
Kingston Losing Long-Standing Co-op
Ontario's Co-op Current: Volume 12, Issue 14
The Sleepless Goat, a downtown Kingston business staple for almost 24 years, has closed its doors. High rent and a lack of traffic is said to be largely to blame. In addition, the Sleepless Goat could not afford to renew its liquor license which affected business, and there were mounting building maintenance costs. The restaurant opened in 1993 and became a co-operative in 2000.  Co-op member Emily Alderich said the café had been struggling for a number of years. 
Transformer L'économie Pour Démocratiser La Société - March 19 & 20
This was a social and solidarity entrepreneurship celebration and conference that brought together dynamic forces of social and economic transformation in Montreal. 

C'est dans le but d'orienter l'action collective des entreprises sociales et solidaires et d'accélérer la nécessaire transformation vers une économie plus équitable, vouée à la satisfaction des besoins des personnes et non à l'accumulation du capital, que se sont réunis la fin de semaine dernière les participantes et les participants de la conférence  Transformer Montréal , qui se tenait les 19 et 20 mars à l'Université Concordia. 


What is the Outlook for the Economy in a Context of Financial Crises and Social Inequalities?
Quoted from


Exciting new speakers have been announced for the Quebec International Summit, 2016 edition: 


Joseph E. Stiglitz

Joseph Stiglitz has long denounced the gap between the rich and the poor, a phenomenon exacerbated by the financial and economic crises. He presents ways to reverse this trend, which democratic societies have been unable to reverse, despite the expectation that they should be moving in a direction with everyone's interests in mind.

Mark R. Kramer
While advising businesses on strategies for adapting to social changes, Mark Kramer noticed that they are increasingly aware that their success is inextricably tied to their social and environmental initiatives. He will explain how creating value for society overall promotes growth in a sustainable manner.
Robert Reich
According to Robert Reich, only greater equality in the distribution of incomes can give the middle class back its purchasing power and stimulate growth. A look at essential restructuring as seen by one of the top U.S. opinion-makers.

Read the press release in  French,

Gar Alperovitz on the United States' Shift to a Democratic Economy 
Image: Big money via Shutterstock. From Truthout
Saturday, 05 March 2016 00:00By Sam | Interview
Quoted from Truthout

In the struggle against economic inequality, historian and political economist Gar Alperovitz tends to take the long view. That may be at least partly because Alperovitz has been at that struggle for quite a long time.

Too Much editor Sam Pizzigati spoke with him there about his long-haul perspective on how we can go about shearing inequality down to democratic size.

Click here to read the article.
150 000 $ pour le secteur de l'agroalimentaire dans la région de la Capitale-Nationale - La Fiducie du Chantier de l'économie sociale investit dans la Coopérative des brasseurs professionnels Saint-Roch
M ONTRÉAL, le 19 avril 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - C'est avec plaisir que la Fiducie du Chantier de l'économie sociale annonce un investissement total de 150 000 $ sous forme de capital patient opération dans le projet de la Coopérative des brasseurs professionnels Saint-Roch (La Barberie) à Québec. Cet investissement a contribué à la rénovation, à l'optimisation des espaces de production ainsi qu'à l'achat d'équipements.
What do we really know about worker co-operatives? / Que savons-nous des coopératives de travail? 
***Le français suit.***

This new piece of research by Professor Virginie Pérotin of Leeds University Business School looks at two decades' worth of international data on worker owned co-operatives.It confirms that worker co-operatives offer an appealing option that gives the people working there ownership, involvement and a degree of job security in what are often high performing and productive businesses. Employee ownership and control, in a successful enterprise... who could ask for more than that?

Veille-Coop,Mars 2016, Numéro 21

Co-operatives UK a publié une nouvelle recherche portant sur les bénéfices des coopératives de travail. L'étude se base sur deux décennies de données internationales sur le sujet. Cette étude constate que les coopératives de travailleurs d'Europe, des États-Unis et de l'Amérique latine ont, en moyenne, une taille plus importante que les autres types d'entreprises. Ces coopératives permettent la participation des employés aux décisions, génèrent une augmentation de la productivité et procurent une plus grande sécurité d'emploi. Ce modèle est applicable autant dans les industries manufacturières traditionnelles qu'aux industries de haute technologie. 
Chasing Utopia: Worker Ownership and cooperatives will not succeed by competing on capitalism's terms.  
A worker-owned factory in Argentina. The Working World _ Flickr
By Sam Gindin 

This year marks the five-hundredth anniversary of Thomas More's  Utopia - the book that introduced the term "utopia" into radical thought during the early days of capitalism. In More's story, a fictional character matter-of-factly declares, "wherever you have private property and money is the measure of all things, it is hardly ever possible for a commonwealth to be governed justly or happily."
Half a millennium later, this idea - that private ownership of the means of production is the central barrier to a better world - has much purchase on the Left, with many calling for an economy based on direct worker and community control.

Click here to read the article.
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