Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation

 La Fédération canadienne des coopératives de travail

2015 Newsletter
Vol 7, Issue 6



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Month Year Vol 1, Issue 1
 CWCF News
Hazel has been interviewed by Redeye Co-op Radio in both
of November and December.  The recordings are available on line.
CWCF will soon launch a Worker Co-ops 101 webinar series for new (& prospective) members of worker co-ops.  
Welcome new member

Alif Partners Co-operative, of Edmonton,  i s a creative management consultancy which has become a worker co-op. "For the past 20 years, we have collectively worked on some of the best & biggest brands in the world, as well as emerging organizations that are slated for greatness. Our associates and partners have global expertise and have worked in Africa, Asia and the Middle East."


Announcing our new column "Member Marketplace". 
This will be a regular column that will provide our members with the opportunity to submit information about their co-op, in order to encourage members to do business with each other. 
This month we are featuring la Coopérative Orion of Quebec. 
If you are interested in submitting an article, please contact Kaye Grant at
In This Issue
Seasons Greetings from CWCF
Mark Goldblatt provides a legacy for CWCF.
Member Marketplace: Orion Co-op
Call for Information and Communication Worker Co-ops
Monique F. Leroux elected president of the International Co-operative Alliance /...Monique F. Leroux...
A new video about Young cooperators in the world
Ottawa Co-op Network - Evening of Learning.
CICOPA-CECOP Global Membership Meeting Report
ICA Meeting Report
Statement of the International Co-operative Alliance General Assembl
Canadian worker cooperatives call for an economy based on ...
Co-operatives taking action to address climate change /Les coopératives de travail associé agissent pour s'exprimer contre le réchauffement climatique
Parcours COOP offert par le Réseau.
Formation animation participative Accolades
Seasons Greetings!:  We at CWCF would like to wish you & yours the best of this holiday season & hope you can join us for another year of economic democracy in 2016!

We also extend a special invitation for 2016:  mark your calendars now to join us for CWCF's 25TH ANNIVERSARY (!) CONFERENCE, in beautiful downtown Vancouver, November 3 - 5.  The keynote speaker will be Kathy Bardswick, CEO, The Co-operators!   


Mark Goldblatt provides a legacy for CWCF

As you likely know, on February 3rd, 2015, CWCF's Past President(of 14 years, Mark Goldblatt, passed away from a heart attack.  CWCF has recently learned that Mark left $25,000 to CWCF in his will, for which CWCF is greatly moved and appreciative.  This is what Mark stated in his will:

"I give the following legacies: -
To the Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation, $25,000 to be used for a cultural project(s) in support of the co-op movement - not as a student bursary."

CWCF is grateful to Mark's wife, Linda O'Neil, for conveying this information and handling the estate.  The Board of CWCF is considering various options of exactly how to honour Mark's legacy through his generous bequest.  It is incredible that this man gave so much in life, and continues to do so in death.  CWCF believes that Mark was referring to the activities of The Big Idea Rainbow Foundation, written up here:  The focus is using popular culture to promote the co-operative movement.

Watch this space for more information in coming months.    

Member Marketplace:   Quebec Co-op Orion's Website Goes Trilingual 
**le français suit**
Latest news
- Orion just completed the launch of its new trilingual website, with content in French, English, and Spanish. Having content in three languages increases our visibility and accessibility, and provides additional options for expansion for our cooperative.

Who are we?
- Orion started in 1986. We are a worker co-operative focused on research, advisory services, and training, offering service in French and English. Our clients include associations, co-operatives, private companies, and public or parapublic organizations with a regional, provincial, national or international focus. Our staff have skills in managing teams, drafting documents, applying social research, and training. All members of our staff have at least one masters degree as well as many years of experience with cooperatives.

Some of our work
- We created a collection of handbooks for cooperatives, providing a first set of reference tools on cooperative management by way of cooperative principles instead of simply being a mirror of dominant practices and models of management. One such handbook is "Managing the Democratic Process in a Co-operative -- the Canadian Way". This handbook focuses on developing skills in democratic operations for managers and elected officers.

Our Services
- Analysis of needs and satisfaction (e.g., focus groups, surveys)
- Analysis of sectoral or regional issues
- Producing reports
- Project evaluation
- Processing and interpretation of qualitative and quantitative data

For more information or to contact Orion, click here.

**En Français**

Profil de membre: La Cooperative de recherche et de conseils ORION (de Quebec) lance un site web trilingue.
Dernieres nouvelles
  - Orion lance notre nouveau site trilingue , avec des informations en anglais, français et espagnol . Avoir des informations dans les trois langues augmente notre visibilité et accessibilité , et offre des options supplémentaires pour l'expansion de notre coopérative.
A propos
   - Orion a commence en 1986.  Nous sommes un groupe de travail basé sur la recherche coopérative, et aussi les services conseils et la formation. Nous offrons nos services en français et en anglais. Nos clients incluent des associations, des coopératives, des entreprises et des organisations privées et publiques / parapubliques qui opèrent à un niveau régional, provincial, national et/ou international. Nos employés ont des compétences en gestion, la rédaction de documents, l'application de la recherche sociale, et de la formation. Tous nos employés ont au moins un diplôme de maîtrise et de nombreuses années d'expérience avec les coopératives.

Exemples de notre travail
 - Nous avons créé une collection de manuels pour les coopératives, fourni un premier ensemble d'outils de référence sur la gestion coopérative par le biais des principes coopératifs lieu d'être simplement un miroir de pratiques et modèles de gestion dominants. Un tel manuel est "Gérer la vie démocratique dans une coopérative ."  Ce guide met l'accent sur le développement des compétences dans les opérations démocratiques pour les gestionnaires et les dirigeants élus .
Nos Services
  • Analyse de besoins et de satisfaction de clientèles et/ou de membres (groupes de discussion, sondages);
  • Analyse de problématiques sectorielles ou régionales (logique de marché, enjeux, tendances, positionnement, défis, menaces, opportunités, prospective);
  • Réalisation de veilles stratégiques (« benchmarking », pratiques innovatrices, etc.);
  • Analyse critique de documentation ou de rapports;
  • Production de rapports, de documents de référence ou de mémoires;
  • Construction d'outils de collecte et d'analyse des données;
  • Traitement et interprétation de données quantitatives et qualitatives;
  • Évaluation de projets.
Pour plus d'informations ou pour contacter Orion, cliquez ici.
Attention: Information and Communication Worker Co-ops with interest in trying out the new CICOPA CoopSpace 
Don't wait to exchange: Join Coopspace!

Coopspace is brought to you by CICOPA, the sectorial organisation of the International Cooperative Alliance for industry and services[1].
It is a web tool aimed at promoting enterprise-to-enterprise contacts among the cooperatives of the CICOPA network at the international level. The main function of Coopspace is to provide cooperatives worldwide with a web space to exchange information and know-how within the same sector of activity.
Coopspace will allow exchanges among cooperatives within 7 sectors: Information and Communication, ITC, Human Health, Social work, Environment, Education and Construction. All these sectors will be gradually activated.
A good piece of news? Your sector of activity, Information and Communication, will be activated first!
Cooperatives in industry and services are developing around the world. They have showed much more resistance to economic uncertainty and challenges than any other type of enterprise. Under globalisation, and in times of crisis, the need for many cooperatives to reach out to the international network of enterprises, which we represent, is on the agenda.
If you're interested in knowing other cooperative companies carrying out similar activities in other countries, exchange ideas, know-how and solutions to common challenges with them. 

If you want to create transnational projects;
If you want to improve your international business strategy -  
... Definitely, Coopspace is for you!
How does it work?
Once registered within the platform, all users can be displayed with their own profiles, and bilateral exchanges can be made.
Coopspace users will be able to share an announcement or specific requests on a dedicated "Post" section. Furthermore, they will be allowed to debate on a dedicated "Forum" section, under the animation and coordination of the Information and Communication world coordinator. They can also propose specific topics that may be the issue of a new debate at the "Forum" section.
As a reminder, users commit themselves to creating posts and comments on the driver forums and in English. Even if there is the possibility to automatically translate the posts and comments into other languages, English remains the working language of Coopspace. This means that all public interactions must be done in English.
So What?
It's simple. If you are interested in joining Coopspace inform CWCF Communications Manager Kaye Grant at, who has been designated as national coordinator for Coopspace.
Don't wait too long! Please do it before December 30, 2015.

As soon as we have gathered expressions of interest from at least three countries, we will give you the instructions to register and start using Coopspace.

Stay tuned! 

Monique F. Leroux elected president of the International Co-operative Alliance / Monique F. Leroux élue à la présidence de l'Alliance coopérative internationale
Ottawa, November 13, 2015 - Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC) congratulates Monique F. Leroux on her election as President of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA). Ms. Leroux was nominated by CMC and her candidacy received the support of CMC members. Read the full news release here.

**En français**

Ottawa, le 13 novembre 2015 -Coopératives et mutuelles Canada (CMC) félicite Monique F. Leroux pour son élection au poste de présidente de l'Alliance coopérative internationale (ACI). La mise en candidature de Mme Leroux a été effectuée par CMC au nom de ses membres. Lire les nouvelles de presse complet ici.  

 A new video about Young worker cooperators in the world /  Une nouvelle vidéo sur les jeunes coopérateurs/trices de travail dans le monde

**Le français suit**
Precarious work, not in line with their studies, a lack of independence...According to the latest numbers from the OECD, at least 75 million youth in the world are unemployed, while others are now creating tools to decide of their own future by building worker cooperatives or social cooperatives.  The film "Working together for a cooperative future" has been launched in the framework of the Global conference of the International Cooperative Alliance in Antalya (Turkey) in front of 300 cooperators.
Why and first and foremost with what objective are youth cooperating?  CICOPA  and its regional organization in Europe and Mercosur:  CECOP (CICOPA Europe ) and  CICOPA Mercosu r have produced, with the support of Cooperar, the Cooperative Confederation of the Republic of Argentina, a video that gives the floor to young cooperators in 9 countries around the world. "Young people are the present and future leaders of our cooperative movement; moreover they also hold the tools to transform their reality in a better world. The worker and social cooperatives, as enterprises controlled democratically by their workers, are especially prepared to achieve this goal as they already promote equality, solidarity, social justice: they are present to help us through this change", has declared Manuel Mariscal, President of CICOPA.
"Working together for a cooperative future" was created in a collaborative manner, and shares the experiences, challenges and motivations of young cooperators in 9 different countries across the globe, it is available in English . The youth committee chairperson of ICA, Gabriela Buffa has emphasized that the video "reflects the fact that the youth choose  the cooperative model as a way of life because it allows them to work in a way which is coherent with their thinking, working with the others, and taking decisions among all".
Young cooperators from worker and social cooperatives tell their stories from Japan, Argentina, Italy, Spain, France, United States, Brazil, Poland, and South Africa. Among these we meet: Agresta (Spain) a cooperative created by a group of friends after their university studies, specialized in consulting and forestry engineering; AGURIĪN (Japan) a social cooperative that produces renewable energy from used cooking oil, and that integrates young people with psychological problems; and Ugu Coop Produce (South Africa), a cooperative that works in the agricultural sector, in the Natal region and produces organic vegetables.
The video was, from the beginning, created collaboratively by organizations that represent worker cooperatives and the cooperatives that got involved in this project, from the filming to the editing process. The film lasts 15 minutes and is subtitled in English; it is available here.

**En français** 

Emplois précaires, non adaptés à leurs études, un manque d'indépendance...D'après les dernières données de la OCDE, au moins 75 million de jeunes dans le monde sont sans emploi. Alors que tant d'autres construisent leurs propres outils pour concevoir leur avenir en créant des coopératives de travail associé et des coopératives sociales.  La vidéo «Travailler ensemble pour un avenir coopératif » a été projetée dans le cadre de la conférence mondial de l'Alliance Coopérative Internationale à Antalya (Turquie) devant 300 coopérateurs.
Pourquoi, mais surtout dans quel but, les jeunes se « coopérativisent »-ils ? La CICOPA, et ses organisations régionales en Europe et Mercosur : CECOP-CICOPA Europe et CICOPA Mercosur, ont produit, avec le soutien de Cooperar, la Confédération Coopérative de la République d'Argentine, une vidéo qui donne la parole à des jeunes coopérateurs dans 9 pays du monde. « Les jeunes sont l'élément moteur d'aujourd'hui et de demain au sein du mouvement coopératif, mais ils détiennent aussi des outils pour transformer leur environnement en monde meilleur. Les coopératives de travail associé et les coopératives sociales, en tant qu'entreprises dirigées par les travailleurs, sont prêtes à réaliser cet objectif, car elles promeuvent déjà l'égalité, la solidarité et la justice sociale. Elles sont présentes pour aider au changement.» a déclaré Manuel Mariscal, président de CICOPA.
« Travailler ensemble pour un avenir coopératif », ce film, qui fut créé d'une manière collaborative, partage les expériences, défis et motivations de jeunes coopérateurs dans 9 pays différents. Il est disponible en anglais. La représentante du comité des jeunes de l'ACI, Gabriela Buffa a souligné, lors de sa présentation, le fait que la video "reflete le fait que les jeunes choisissent le modèle cooperatif comme un mode de vie parce qu'il leur permet de travailler de façon cohérente avec leurs idées : travailler avec les autres, décider tous ensemble »
Les jeunes coopérateurs racontent leur histoire depuis le Japon, l'Argentine, l'Italie, l'Espagne, la France, les Etats Unis, le Brésil, la Pologne et l'Afrique du Sud. Parmi eux : Agresta (Espagne) une coopérative fondé par un groupe d'amis après la fin de leurs études, spécialisée dans le consulting et l'ingénierie forestière; AGURIĪN (Japon) une coopérative sociale qui produit de l'énergie renouvelable à partir d'huile de cuisine et intègre des jeunes avec des problèmes psychologiques; et Ugu Coop Produce (Afrique du Sud) une coopérative qui travaille dans le secteur agricole, dans la région de Natal, et produit des légumes bio.
Cette vidéo fut, depuis sa naissance, créée de manière collaborative par des organisations représentant des coopératives de travail, parmi lesquelles les coopératives qui se sont impliquées dans ce projet, du tournage au montage. Le film, sous-titré en anglais, dure 15 minutes et sera disponible ici  
Ottawa Co-op Network - Evening of Learning
Denyse Guy presents Mark's wife Linda O'Neil with a book of tributes to Mark
The Ottawa Co-op Network, held an evening of learning in memory of Mark Goldblatt. CWCF provided a modest contribution towards this event.  This is a note from the Ottawa Co-op Network to CWCF.
"Despite the rain, over 80 people attended. A significant amount of your sponsorship dollars was allocated to outreach, which allowed our event to reach a wide audience. Many in the audience were new to the co-op scene, and attended the event after hearing about it through our marketing efforts. 
We felt that we were able to meet to the goal of the event, which was to discuss why the co-op model works for any type of business. Our wide array of panelists ( Céline Carrière for Your Credit Union, Kelly Storie of La Siembra, Kim Scott of Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op, Reid van Melle of Brierwood Design Co-op, and facilitator Denyse Guy, Executive Director of Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada) provided keen insights into why the co-op model works on so many levels for their business. Questions were flowing so much in the Q&A component of the night that we already know we will have to leave more time for this next year!
We are looking forward to making this Evening of Learning an annual event. Thank you again for your support."
CICOPA-CECOP Global Membership Meeting
14 NOV 15 (9AM-6PM)
Antalya, Turkey

Report by Emily M Lippold Cheney
USFWC Proxy to CICOPA 2015 Membership Meeting // 515.442.0749 

The General Assembly for CICOPA, a global sectoral organization of industrial and service cooperatives of which USFWC, and CWCF, are members, was held in Antalya, Turkey on the Saturday immediately following the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) Global Conference and General Assembly.

2014-2015 ACTIVITIES: During the CICOPA General Assembly, the activities of the last two years were reported.  Highlights include:
  • the consolidation and improvement of CICOPA's data tracking, which resulted in the completion of the First Biennial Report on Cooperatives in Industry and Services published in thre"e languages and distributed at the B20,
  • strengthened outreach to youth through the creation of Working Together for a Cooperative Future," a collaboratively developed video that showcases youth worker cooperatives throughout the world (including Worcester Root and Future Focus Media in the US),
  • much improved and expanded communications to members and the general public including a periodic eMagazine " Work Together,"
  • the successful lobbying of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to include a stronger reference to cooperatives in its resolution regarding the transition of workers to the formal economy, and
  • the election of two sectoral representatives to the recently created seats for CICOPA and Housing sectors on the ICA Board of Directors.

COOPERATIVE DECADE STRATEGY: Meeting participants reviewed CICOPA's strategic document sketching out work in accordance with the ICA's Cooperative Decade, and explored the aims of the next two-year period in that larger context. Of the many goals are the need for:
  • more promotion of worker cooperatives among youth,
  • a continued focus on conversion of businesses to cooperative ownership,
  • the strengthening of CICOPA as a global entity alongside its regional and sub-regional groupings (e.g. CICOPA-North America),
  • research and reporting on the importance of indivisible reserves, and
  • continued coordination with the ILO.
In order to meet these goals, members discussed distributing staff workplans so members could identify where and when they can support, as well as broadening CICOPA's network of volunteers by calling for CICOPA members to put forth volunteers to complete specific projects. Building a volunteer network is no simple task, as CICOPA can only reach individual volunteers through its member organizations and a vetting process to ensure quality volunteering experiences would be an additional staffing burden.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: Elections for the Executive Committee were held during the meeting. Of particular note - Manuel Mariscol of COCETA in Spain was reelected to the position of President. USFWC's Rebecca Kemble, as President of CICOPA North America, and Alain Bridault of CWCF were also confirmed as members of the Executive Committee. Two issues passed to the Executive Committee were the continued discussion of the role of worker cooperatives in growing refugee and migrant communities (a conversation USFWC has played a central role in bringing to the table), as well as the procedure by which the ICA selects its meeting locations - specifically as it relates to both the financial (the cost of the Antalya location was prohibitive for many members) and political contexts (the current repression of Kurdish people in Turkey). A desire was stated by some in attendance for the CICOPA Executive Committee meetings to be better publicized so members could attend as observers.

MEMBERSHIP:Membership remains stable but is not growing. A growth in membership would increase the amount of pass-through money received by CICOPA from the ICA. The membership meeting, while an important tool of building CICOPA and supporting CICOPA members, was poorly attended due to the cost of attending. In order to maintain membership spaces as robust assets, it was discussed that future membership meetings happen more in a the style of the Oslo meeting, when CICOPA held its meeting independently of the ICA Global Conference and General Assembly.

FINANCIAL: Financial accounts are impressively small for the amount of work completed by the organization in the last two years - 5.5 workers (some uncompensated) do the transnational work of CICOPA. There is a deficit in the financial accounts related to CICOPA not being compensated for its participation in the above-mentioned lobbying of the ILO. CICOPA calls on those of its members who are able to contribute to cover the cost. Those present discussed maximizing membership and other revenue streams in order to still expand CICOPA's work in the future. A request was made to be shown more detailed financial statements during future meetings, in order to better explore the financial relationship between CICOPA Global and CECOP (the European regional CICOPA network that shares office and staff with CICOPA Global), as well as to troubleshoot financial challenges.

Bruno Roelants, CICOPA Director General, congratulated Monique Leroux (Canada, Desjardins) on her election as the President of the ICA. He acknowledged that while CICOPA did formally endorse Ariel Guarco (Argentina, COOPERAR) because of his commitment to the support of our sector and his proposal to reshape how sectoral organizations of ICA are funded, CICOPA is committed to working with President Leroux during her tenure to build the ICA, its sectors, and the broader cooperative movement.

CWCF was represented at the CICOPA and ICA meetings by Board member Yuill Herbert of Sustainability Solutions Group, who had the Proxy for CICOPA Executive Committee member, Alain Bridault.   Yuill also chairs the ICA's Sustainability Committee and made several presentations at the ICA meetings.  See next article.

ICA Meeting Report 
By Yuill Herbert, Sustainability Solutions Group, Director / CWCF Director

The Canadians had an excellent and significant delegation, and I think everyone was very inspired, reinvigorated and made many new connections. Apparently half the speakers were Canadian- more than any other country. ICA was remarkably dynamic, and the energy and enthusiasm was palatable. 

Check out:
A   new report on guidance notes that interpret the cooperative principles, and

Also to come: 
- A fascinating interesting report on cooperative governance by Sonja Novovik and Karen Miner, and
- The new   world cooperative monitor- found that cooperatives increased by 7%.  

For those of you that have not heard, Monique Leroux was elected as the new president- this is a big deal for Canada as it was a very competitive election. She will have very big shoes to fill, as Pauline Green was recognised as truly remarkable. 

I had many good meetings with Denyse Guy (Executive Director) and Jack Wilkinson (President) from CMC.

I also had a productive meeting with the French association, "CG-SCOP", and discussed a plan in which we have a video conference as soon as possible, send a delegation to France in the relatively near future for a symposium (with worker co-op  representatives, financing people, developers and perhaps government) and then arrange a follow-up side meeting during the International Summit 2016 in Quebec. 

I had many promising meetings with senior leaders of the global cooperative movement and made good connections- there are some great people out there who are embracing the more progressive cooperative agenda. 

Statement of the International Co-operative Alliance General Assembly
 to the world leaders involved in the COP21 in Paris / Déclaration de l'assemblée générale de l'Alliance internationale des coopératives aux dirigeants mondiaux qui participent au COP21àParis 

**Le français suit**

We, the delegates of the 44th General Assembly of the International Co-operative Alliance, gathered in Antalya, Turkey, on the 13th of November 2015, emphasize to the heads of state and government that will meet in Paris in December 2015 for the COP21 that:
1  -The International Co-operative Alliance, celebrating this year its 120th anniversary, represents one billion individuals, members of more than 2.5 million co-operative enterprises worldwide that provide for the livelihoods of or directly employ 250 million people.
2  -Co-operatives are sustainable  enterprises and their important role  in the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals has been recognized in several global policy initiatives, such as the Rio+20 outcome document, the Financing for Development Outcome Document  and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
3   -Co-operatives are active in many sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, retail, insurance, housing, banking and energy, among others, and can therefore be a vehicle to implement the Sustainable Development Goals across different fields, the fight against climate change included.
4   -The International Co-operative Alliance has urged its members to continue and step up  their initiatives to fight climate change.
The International Co-operative Alliance urges the heads of state and government, present in Paris for the COP21, to agree to effective and ambitious measures against climate change and to take into consideration the co-operative movement as a partner in their implementation.

**en français**

Nous, les délégués de la 44e assemblée générale de l'Alliance internationale des coopératives, réunis à Antalya, Turquie, en ce 13e jour de novembre 2015, soulignons aux dirigeants des pays et des gouvernements qui se réuniront à Paris en décembre 2015 pour le COP21 que :
1  - L'Alliance internationale des coopératives, qui célèbre cette année son 120e anniversaire, représente un milliard d'individus, membres de plus de 2,5 million d'entreprises coopératives partout dans le monde qui procurent des moyens d'existence ou qui emploient directement 250 millions de personnes.  
2   - Les coopératives sont des entreprises durables et leur important rôle dans l'exécution des objectifs de développement durable a été reconnu dans plusieurs initiatives globales, telles que le document provenant du Rio+20, le document Financement pour des résultats de développement et l'Agenda 2030 des Nations Unies pour un développement durable.
3  - Les coopératives sont actives dans plusieurs secteurs de l'économie, tels que l'agriculture, le commerce de détail, l'assurance, l'habitation, bancaire et de l'énergie, entre autres, et peut de ce fait servir de véhicule afin d'exécuter les objectifs de développement durable dans divers domaines, incluant la lutte contre le changement climatique.
4   - L'Alliance internationale des coopératives exhorte ses membres à continuer et à accélérer leurs initiatives afin de  combattre le changement climatique.
Par conséquent,
L'Alliance internationale des coopératives exhorte les dirigeants des pays et des gouvernements qui sont présents à Paris pour le COP21, à accepter des mesures efficaces et ambitieuses contre le changement climatique et de prendre en considération le mouvement coopératif comme un partenaire dans leur mise en œuvre.

Canadian worker cooperatives call for an economy based on renewable energy, care for ecosystems and humans, and a justice-based approach
Note that this is a shot from a 6-minute video.
Click the photo to see the video
By Kaye Grant, Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation and Leire Luengo, CICOPA
(note that this has been submitted for the next CICOPA Work Together Newsletter)
Recently approved by the Canadian Worker Cooperative Federation (CWCF), a resolution to support the Leap Manifesto , a call for a Canada based on caring for the earth and one another.  This resolution directs worker cooperatives to participate actively to advance a transformative vision of an economy based on renewable energy, care for ecosystems and human, and a justice-based approach that ensures that those negatively affected by the unequal extraction economy benefit first. Canada has several good examples of how cooperatives in industry and services are precious towards a sustainable and competitive economy also by cooperatives' direct involvement in environmental activities.
The Leap Manifesto takes climate justice further. It is a "vision for how Canada can tackle climate change in a way that changes our country for the better."[1]   The recent COP21 in Paris further emphasizes a level of commitment towards action on climate justice; however, the Leap Manifesto adds a new element of caring for each other as part of caring for the planet.
Cooperatives in industry and services are valuable allies towards a green, sustainable and competitive economy indeed, because of their inclination to seek innovative capacity on their close relationship with the surrounding environment, due to democratic governance and the mutual interconnection between the economic activity of the enterprise, its community and environment. On the other hand, cooperatives' direct involvement in environmental activities is a growing trend. In some countries they have been active in that field for more than a decade, whereas in others it is a much more recent trend. Quebec, where long-lived forestry cooperatives are highly present and developed, is a good example.
The Quebec Federation of Forestry Cooperatives (a regional federation member of CWCF) represents the totality of worker cooperatives and social cooperatives (called "solidarity cooperatives" in that region) present in the forest sector in Quebec. Its 40 cooperatives gather 2,700 worker-members and created jobs for approximately 3,500 individuals, generating over $250 million in revenue.
The history of forestry cooperatives in Quebec goes back to the 1930's: closely associated with
the farmers' unions, they were created to organize the work force of the settlers who offered their services in the woods during the winter season. During this period, forestry cooperatives improved the fate of workers who were constrained to earn their living in very difficult conditions. A turning point in their development and consolidation came in the 1970s with the government's support. In the 1980s, forestry cooperatives were involved in a major reforestation program, producing seedlings for reforestation and intensifying their forestry operations. In 2005, forestry cooperatives had planted one billion seedlings on Quebec's public land. Nowadays, they are focusing on forestry planning and training.
Recently, the Quebec Federation of Forestry Cooperatives has launched the project "Vision Biomasse Québec" in partnership with other private and public actors. It is a structured network for generating heat from forest biomass in Quebec, with the objective to generate 4,000 GWh of annual renewable energy production for heat until 2025. To reach these results, Vision Biomasse Québec has targeted the creation of 12,500 new jobs linked to the establishment of infrastructure.
A worldwide momentum
Worldwide the momentum is growing to support the immediate need to address climate change.  The International Cooperative Alliance General assembly has also published a statement to the world leaders involved in the COP21 "urging the heads of state and government, present in Paris for the COP21, to agree to effective and ambitious measures against climate change and to take into consideration the cooperative movement as a partner in their implication." [2] The ICA notes that cooperatives act on several levels at a time:[3]
  1. "First level: cooperatives contribute to reducing inequality and poverty. Having decent living conditions is a prerequisite to feeling that you are an actor in an effort which requires sacrifices, as will be the case with future climate challenges."
Neechi Foods Limited , a worker cooperative, is addressing inequality, poverty and food insecurity in the north end of Winnipeg (Manitoba) by operating a grocery store in an area that has been labeled a food dessert. As well, it employs local aboriginal people from the area which is one of the lowest income urban areas in the city and possibly in Canada.
The International Women's Catering Co-op is a culturally diverse team serving a wide variety of ethnic food at the James Bay Community and Moss Street Markets in Victoria, British Columbia.  They focus on creating supported employment for new immigrant women.

2.       "Second level: they are schools of democracy and foster active citizenship. Cooperatives encourage people to unite and act, rather than wait for solutions to drop from elsewhere or from governments."

Careforce , a personal home care enterprise in Kentville, Nova Scotia, is a worker buyout where the employees now own the business as a worker cooperative. They provide substantial education for members which provides members with the information needed to be informed and active members. This increases members' engagement and also ensures a higher level of service because members have a stake in the outcome.
The Media Co-op is a coast-to-coast network of local media cooperatives dedicated to providing grassroots, democratic coverage of their communities and of Canada. It is a multi-stakeholder cooperative that provides informed news coverage to ensure its readers have the information they need for democratic decisions about their world.

3.       "And the third level is the educational mission which results from their action. This educational mission can include the complex issues of climate change. Much remains to be done in terms of raising awareness." 

Victory Gardens is a worker cooperative in Vancouver, British Columbia that creates gardens in a wide variety of spaces where people can grow and eat healthy food. By doing this they are helping decrease people's impact on the environment, supporting their local economy, and creating a healthy environment with organic food.  This all contributes to the movement towards new and sustainable food systems.
Cooperatives, by focusing on people first, are a model that can mobilize people to "own the change".

Co-operatives taking action to address climate change / Les coopératives de travail associé agissent pour s'exprimer contre le réchauffement climatique
Pathway to Paris
Image from Sustainability Solutions Group
By Kaye Grant, Communications Manager, Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation (CWCF)
(Note: this was published in the CICOPA Work Together eNewsletter for September/October 2015)

**le français suit**

Co-operatives are showing leadership by joining together to develop a co-operative solution to climate change.  CWCF member Sustainability Solutions Group (SSG) has put out a call to action to engage cooperatives in climate change activities, including in their publication "A Co-operative Solution to Climate Change": 
"Co-operatives represent something special for the climate change challenge. It is a combination of experience and a proven track record, resilience, an unrelenting dedication to universal values, the ability to achieve multiple outcomes at once, and flexibility and versatility." [1]
The concept of sustainability is embedded within the seven co-operative principles.  By their nature, co-operatives put societal and member concerns ahead of short-term profit.
CWCF recently adopted a Statement on Climate Change [2] which begins as follows:
"From November 30 to December 11, 2015, the nations of the world will come together in Paris, France to negotiate a global treaty on climate change. The Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation (CWCF) is an organisation representing worker co-operatives across Canada, and Principle 7 of the Co-operative Principles states that "Co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members".  Climate change unequivocally threatens not only sustainable development, but the survival of millions of people around the world through undermining food security, extreme weather events, sea level rise, ocean acidification and other impacts. CWCF is therefore mandated on behalf of our members to advocate for meaningful action on climate change according to the co-operative values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In so doing, CWCF joins a diverse and growing movement within society.
To this end, CWCF calls for an agreement in Paris that includes the following elements:
Commitment to 100% renewable future by 2050: In order to stabilise the climate at safe levels as called for by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the world needs to transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy by 2050 [3]. This also means that more than 2/3 of all present commercially viable fossil fuel reserves will need to stay in the ground [4].  ..."
The Pathway to Paris , co-organized by SSG, is a collection of artists, activists, academics, musicians, politicians, and innovators coming together to make their voices heard in the context of the UN climate talks in Paris in December 2015.  SSG has been participating in the UN climate negotiations for several years, and the meeting in Paris this December is a unique opportunity to agree upon a coordinated international response to climate change. The meeting is unique because of a coalescing of acknowledgement by heads of state, particularly China and the US, that substantive action is urgent.
Many Worker Co-operatives in Canada in addition to SSG are working towards sustainability and climate justice, including the following:  
  •  Forêt d'Arden is a worker cooperative in Quebec, which provides education about the environment.
  • EnerGreen Builders Co-operative located in New Brunswick, is committed to building and maintaining high quality sustainable buildings and they endeavour to use environmentally friendly building materials and practices.
  •  Aster Group Environmental Services, also in New Brunswick, is a worker co-operative that delivers environmental consulting services.
  •  The Fourth Pig, a worker cooperative in Ontario, is a construction company that doeshome and commercial renovations and building. Their work is based on natural and green building techniques and materials. 
  • Vancouver Renewable Energy Co-op (VREC) sells, installs and provides consulting services for renewable energy systems in British Columbia.
  •  Natural Cycle Worker Co-op Limited is a group of enterprises, located in Manitoba, Canada focused on human-powered transportation.  They have four worker co-operative members including a courier business, a bike shop, a fabrication company and a distribution company.
  • Urbane Cyclist Workers Co-op is a bike shop located in downtown Toronto that includes retail and service. Urbane Cyclist supports all pedal-powered cycling and their shop services all kinds of bicycles.
  •  Old Town Glassworks in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories is a community of workers and artists who create hand-crafted glassware from recycled bottles.
  • Urban Eatin' Landscapes, located in Manitoba, transforms underutilized space into beautiful edible landscapes. 
  • Tourne-Sol Co-operative Farm, in rural Quebec, is a farming cooperative that is committed to producing the highest quality organic products in the most sustainable ways possible to nourish our local community and enrich the landscape.
Yuill Hebert of SSG noted that, "Cooperatives are very active around the world in addressing climate change; from renewable energy cooperatives to car sharing, from low-carbon housing to providing critical financing but certainly they can do more, much more. The unique value proposition is that cooperatives, unlike many other models of enterprise, can enable the transition to a fossil fuel-free society while combating inequality, enhancing democracy and ensuring local involvement and control, thus simultaneously achieving different aspects of the sustainable development goals- a win-win-win solution. If we attempt to solve climate change with unrestrained capitalism, the result may be reduced emissions, but there are also other social and economic problems that must then be addressed." 
Co-operatives in Canada and elsewhere are already implementing sustainable business practices and services.  CWCF urges all co-operatives to get involved in working together to address climate change.  This can be done by adopting a Climate Change Statement, advocating with governments, creating climate-related policies, participating in Pathways to Paris or similar activities, implementing more sustainable business practices and services and collaborating to encourage other co-operatives, community organizations, and businesses to address climate change issues.

***en français***
Traduction par CICOPA ici

Les coopératives font preuve de leadership en s'unissant pour développer une solution au changement climatique. Le membre de la fédération canadienne des coopératives de travail, Sustainability Solution Group, a lancé un appel d'action, y compris dans leur propre publication 'Une solution coopérative au changement climatique', pour engager les coopératives à réaliser des actions relatives au changement climatique.

Selon de  Sustainability Solution Group  « Les coopératives représentent quelque chose de spécial concernant l'enjeu du changement climatique. C'est une combinaison d'expérience, de capacités, de résistance, de dévouement aux valeurs universelles, d'habilité à accomplir plusieurs résultats à la fois, de flexibilité et de versatilité ». Le concept de durabilité est enraciné au sein des 7 principes coopératifs. Dans leurs nature, les coopératives place les affaires sociétales et les membres avant les bénéfices à court terme. Dans ce sens, la  Fédération canadienne des coopératives de travail (FCCT)  a récemment adopté une déclaration sur le changement climatique , elle commence comme ceci :
« Du 30 novembre au 11 décembre 2015, les nations du monde se réuniront à Paris en France afin de négocier un traité global sur le changement climatique. La FCCT est une organisation représentant les coopératives de travail du Canada. Le 7e principe coopératif établit que « Les coopératives contribuent au développement durable de leur communauté dans le cadre d'orientations approuvées par leurs membres. » Les changements climatiques menacent sans contredit non seulement de développement durable mais la survie de millions de personnes partout au monde en ébranlant la sécurité alimentaire et en causant des événements climatiques extrêmes incluant l'élévation du niveau des mers, l'acidification des océans et d'autres impacts. La FCCT est donc mandatée au nom de nos membres à plaider pour une action significative sur le changement climatique en fonction des valeurs coopératives d'auto-assistance, d'auto-responsabilité, de démocratie, d'égalité, d'équité et de solidarité. Ce faisant, la FCCT se joint à un mouvement diversifié et croissant au sein de la société.
Dans ce but, la FCCT intercède pour qu'un accord soit conclu à Paris et qu'il comprenne les éléments suivants :
Un engagement envers un futur 100% renouvelable d'ici 2050 : Pour stabiliser les conditions climatiques à des niveaux sécuritaires tel que demandé par la Convention-cadre des Nations Unies sur les changements climatiques, le monde doit s'éloigner des combustibles fossiles vers l'énergie renouvelable d'ici 2050 . Ceci signifie que plus des deux tiers de toutes les réserves de combustible fossile présentement viables commercialement devront rester souterraine... » .
Le Pathway to Paris , co-organisé par la SSG, est un regroupement d'artistes, d'activistes, d'universitaires, de musiciens, de politiciens et d'innovateurs voulant faire entendre leurs voix lors du sommet sur le climat à Paris en décembre 2015. Cela fait déjà plusieurs années que la SSG participe aux débats sur le changement climatique des Nations Unis et le sommet qui aura lieu à Paris en décembre prochain, permettra de trouver une réponse internationale au changement climatique. Ce sommet est unique, car les chefs d'états, en particuliers la Chine et les Etats Unis, ont communément reconnu qu'une prise d'action substantielle est urgente. De nombreuses coopératives de travail au Canada, en plus de la SSG, travaillent pour un futur durable et une justice climatique, dont les suivantes :
* Forêt d'Arden une coopérative de travail au Québec, qui éduque sur l'environnement 
* EnerGreen Builders Co-operative située à New Brunswick, elle est spécialisé dans la construction et la maintenance de bâtiment de haute qualité et durable, de plus elle s'efforce d'utiliser des matériaux et des pratiques non nocifs à l'environnement. 
* Aster Group Environmental Services, aussi située à New Brunswick, c'est une coopérative de travail spécialisée dans l'expertise-conseil environnementale. 
* The Fourth Pig, une coopérative de travail d'Ontario, spécialisée dans la construction, elle performe des rénovations de maison, locaux commerciaux, et bâtiments. Leur travail est basé sur des techniques et matériaux naturels et verts. 
* Vancouver Renewable Energy Co-op (VREC) vend, installe et donne des conseils sur les systèmes d'énergie renouvelable en Colombie Britannique. 
* Natural Cycle Worker Co-op Limited est un groupe d'entreprise, basées à Manitoba, Canada, spécialisé dans la transportation à propulsion humaine. Le groupe se consiste de quatre coopératives membres, dont une affaire de coursier, un magasin de vélo, une compagnie de fabrication et une compagnie de distribution. 
* Urbane Cyclist Workers Co-op est un magasin de vélo situé au centre de Toronto qui vend et entretien des vélos. Urbane Cyclist soutien tout type de cyclisme de l'énergie à pédale et le magasin entretien tout type de vélos. 
* Old Town Glassworks à Yellowknife, Territoires du Nord-Ouest, est une communauté de travailleurs et d'artistes qui créent artisanalement de la verrerie à partir de bouteilles recyclées. 
* Urban Eatin' Landscapes située à Manitoba, transforme des espaces sous-utilisés en de magnifiques paysages comestibles. 
* Tourne-Sol Co-operative Farm, située dans la campagne Québécoise, est une ferme coopérative qui s'engage à produire des produits biologiques de haute qualité en utilisant les techniques les plus durables possible afin de fournir la communauté locale et enrichir le paysage.
Yuill Hebert de la SSG a souligné que, « les coopératives, à travers le monde, sont très actives pour adresser le changement climatique ; des coopératives de développement durable au co-voiturage, des maisons à basse consommation de charbon à la donation de financements cruciaux, les coopératives sont très impliquées mais elles peuvent faire plus, bien plus. La proposition de valeur unique est que les coopératives, contrairement à de nombreux modèles d'entreprises, peuvent amorcer la transition vers une société sans énergies fossiles, tout en combattant les inégalités, promouvant la démocratie, et en assurant un contrôle et une participation locale. Et de ce fait elles accomplissent simultanément différents aspects des objectifs pour le développement durable, une solution favorable pour tous. Si notre solution au changement climatique est le capitalisme non contenu, certes les émissions seront peut être réduites mais d'autres problèmes sociaux et économiques ne seront pas adressés ».
Les coopératives du Canada et d'autres parts mettent déjà en marche des pratiques et des services d'entreprises durables. La FCCT rappelle à toute les coopératives de s'impliquer et travailler ensemble afin d'adresser le changement climatique. Cela peut être fait en adoptant la déclaration sur le changement climatique, en préconisant avec les gouvernement, en créant des politiques en rapport au climat, en participant au Pathway to Paris, ou à d'autres activités similaires, en mettant en places des pratiques et services d'entreprise plus durables, en collaborant afin d'encourager d'autres coopératives, organisations communautaires et entreprises à s'adresser sur le changement climatique.

[1] Sustainability Solutions Group, "A Co-operative Solution to Climate Change", November 30, 2014. Accessed on October 13, 2015 at
[3] N. Höhne et al., Feasibility of GHG emissions phase-out by mid-century (Ecofys 2013), available online:  
[4] Carbon in energy reserves and energy infrastructure; pp. 259ff, in: World Energy Outlook 2012, International Energy Agency,    Paris 2012

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Bonjour à tous,

J'ai eu la chance de vous rencontrer lors de mes deux premiers voyages au Québec en 2015. C'est avec un grand plaisir que je reviens vers vous pour un troisième voyage en Février 2016.
Ce dernier se concrétise avec notre partenaires NISKA pour une formation sur :
"La stratégie et le développement territorial en mode participatif !"

J'aurais un très grand plaisir à vous retrouver lors de ce temps de formation "Franco-Québécois ». Quelle richesse !

Je vous remercie par avance de diffuser l'information dans vos réseaux afin que cette formation remporte un vif succès !

Information et  inscriptions :
En espérant vivement vous retrouver à cette occasion !

A Bientôt !

Matthieu PIEGAY
(+ 33) 6 37 74 24 23
Comptoir Étic-Woopa
10, avenue des Canuts
69120 Vaulx-en-Velin
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