CoopZone Developers' Network Co-operative

Spring 2014 Newsletter
Volume 4
Issue 2                                                            


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In This Issue
Announcing Cross Canada Co-op Developer Check-In
Tele-learning Session on Mutli-stakeholder Co-ops / Notes re: Lawyers & Developers Working Together
Upcoming CoopZone Training Courses
CoopZone-CWCF Conference
Co-operators Member Benefits Insurance Program
National Co-op Challenge
Ontario Government and CHF Canada Stop the Stealing of a Cooperative
ICA Input on Principles Sought - by MAY 15TH
CMC Launches
Quebec co-operatives bridge two solitudes.
Parlimanterians hold All-Party Caucus meeting
CDF Gratitude Report
International Summit of Co-operatives
  Announcing Cross Canada Co-op Developer Check-In

 CoopZoneWe are interested in launching a new regular column for our newsletter

"Cross Canada Developer check-in". Here is a chance to share stories and happenings in the co-op world in your community.


This is a call for submissions. Submissions may be a few sentences or a few paragraphs, and could be about a particular co-op which has recently started, trends you see in your community or province regarding co-op development, or anything you think may be of interest to other members.  If possible, please include an image or photo preferably a jpg. Submissions can be emailed to Kaye Grant.  Please include your name and contact information in case we have questions.


Tele-learning Session on Mutli-stakeholder Co-ops / Notes on Last Session
CoopZone is hosting a tele-learning session for all CoopZone members on Multi-stakeholder Co-operatives / Solidarity Co-operatives.   It will take place on Tuesday, June 10th at 3:00 pm Eastern Time for up to 90 minutes. 

The questions which we will ask the presenters to address include:
When you have helped to develop multi-stakeholder co-op(s), how has it gone?  What lessons have you learned, and what do you think are the pros and cons of the model?

We put out a call for presenters and had a great response.  There will be six presenters, who will speak on average for 10 minutes each, leaving time for discussion.  The presenters will be as follows: Russ Christianson (who has also agreed to facilitate), Marty Frost, Rick Juliusson, Cheryl Krostewitz, R�jean Laflamme, and Martin Van Den Borre.  Apologies to the two who offered but who we could not accommodate in scheduling.  Hazel Corcoran will take notes for the benefit of those who have interest but cannot attend.

If you would like to participate, RSVP to Hazel ( as soon as possible, and at the latest by June 9th at the end of the day.   

notes on the last session, re: lawyers and developers working effectively together, will be available on the CoopZone web site by Monday, May 12th, here:

CoopZone Training Program 2014-15: Applications Being Accepted / Information Webinars Announced


**Please share this with others who may have interest.**


CoopZone is pleased to again offer its co-op development training courses in 2014-15, starting in September or October, depending on the course.   Information about the courses is available here: This link includes a brochures, application forms for each level and the bursary application form.


CoopZone offers various levels of training: the Advanced Program (Years 1 and 2) for those who are or wish to become active developers; the Foundation Program for those who may become developers or work in the early stages of development, and the Introduction to Co-op Development course. The shorter Introductory course is appropriate for people interested in understanding the types and roles of co-ops, and the basic co-op development process. All of these on-line courses are designed to fit around a full-time job.   


Information Webinars: For those who are thinking about taking one of the courses, there will be an information webinar held on May 27th, and another on June 13th, each time at 12 noon Eastern Time for 60-90 minutes.  These webinars are open to anyone.  Please RSVP to Hazel Corcoran ( by the end of the day prior; you will receive the dial-in information by the start of the day of the call.  (If you do not receive it by then, please write again at that time.)   


The Course Director is Peter Hough, and experienced co-op developers provide mentoring to students.


CoopZone conducted an evaluation of our on-line training courses early this year. Overall, the evaluations, submitted by past and current students, were very positive. Students also had some suggestions for improvement which we are taking - including providing more feedback to students on their submissions, and giving more support in the participant-led discussion groups. Further, the overall integration of the readings and other learning activities are being assessed to improve learning outcomes for the participants.


Here's what some of the students from the current year and past years have had to say:


"I've been applying what I have learned from the course to my day-to-day work with co-ops right from the start of the program and would highly recommend it to anyone who works with co-ops, social enterprises, and those involved in community economic development on any level." --Mark Sparrow, NSCC.  


"After working and consulting with non-profits for over 20 years, CoopZone training has given me the understanding and tools to finally be able to work with co-ops. During the course I had four groups engage me to help start or transition their co-op, and my assigned mentor, as well as, the CoopZone network helped guide me through it. Thank you!" --Rick Juliusson, FreeRange Consulting, BC.


"I would absolutely recommend the CoopZone program to anybody interested. The course is pretty amazing in the way that it creates a common community amongst us aspiring co-op developers and several fully established and tremendously experienced ones. The instructors are great, and the mentoring system gives me the chance to have hours of one-on-one time with an expert in my desired field." --Joel Ratcliffe, Ontario.  


"The Advanced Co-op Developer training has enabled me to connect with other Co-op Developers and a Mentor which allowed me to apply what I am learning directly to the groups and projects I am working on, in real time. I would recommend this program for anyone interested in Co-op Development as we are often working alone or in small teams in communities; the course allows you to feel part of a co-op team!" --Amanda Hachey, CEC-NB  


"What I like about the program:

  • The webinars and online presentations, and the opportunity to connect with others across the country involved in the same work.
  • The mentor element is great it's been wonderful to have access to (my mentor's) wealth of knowledge and perspectives.
  • Access to the CoopZone listserv & tele-learning sessions has been good, too.
  • The wonderfully curated and assembled reading materials
  • Learning together with great people--the director, cohort and mentors."

--Zo� Creighton, Upper Columbia Co-op Council.



The Fall CoopZone-CWCF Conference

Although the Conference is still many months away the enthusiastic 2014 Conference Planning Committee is already hard at work. 


Mark your calendar

The Conference Theme is Co-operative Collaborations - Member Engagement and External Collaborations.



Location: Wolfville, NS

Dates: November 6 - 8, 2014


The Committee, chaired by Eric Tusz-King, includes Benjamin Ryder (Arrowseed), Debra Moore (Just Us Coffee), Jessica Provencher (La Barberie), Joel Stoddart (Careforce), Reba Plummer (Urbane Cyclist) and staff; Peter Hough (CoopZone Representative) Kaye Grant and Hazel Corcoran.


CWCF Awards - Please Submit Nominations!


Nominations are sought by June 1st, 2014 for either or both of the CWCF Awards which can be given at each annual Conference.  CWCF strongly encourages members to nominate a co-op for the Worker Co-op Best Practices Award, or an individual for the Worker Co-op Merit Award. Award winners, who are generally from the region in which the Conference is held, will have their registration and expenses covered to attend the Conference.


Submit your nominee(s) to Kaye Grant,, with a brief write-up as to why you are nominating the co-op or the individual. The details of each Award are below.


Award for Worker Co-op Best Practices


The Worker Co-op Best Practices Award goes to a worker co-operative which has demonstrated best practices in governance and/or operations, including in upholding the values and principles of the co-operative movement within their co-operative, and has shared, or is willing to share their experience and learnings with other worker co-operatives in Canada. The award winner will be chosen by the Board of CWCF. Co-operatives in which a current Board or staff member of CWCF is a worker-member are ineligible.


The recipient(s) is/are presented with the Award during the CWCF annual Conference, and then will be asked to present a profile of the co-operative to the Conference. Generally the recipient co-op is from the region in which the Conference is held. CWCF covers the registration fee and expenses to have one member of the recipient co-operative attend the Conference. The Award is presented with a brief explanation of the co-operative's best practices, and then the recipient is given the opportunity to make a speech or to present a workshop, which would be with the support of CWCF if required.


Worker Co-op Merit Award


The Worker Co-op Merit Award goes to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to worker co-operation in Canada, as judged by the Board of CWCF. Current Board and staff of CWCF are ineligible.


The recipient is presented with the Award during the CWCF annual Conference. Generally the recipient is from the region in which the Conference is held. CWCF covers the registration fee and expenses to have the recipient attend the Conference. The Award is presented with an explanation of the person's contributions to the movement, and then the person is given the opportunity to make a brief speech.


Co-operators Member Benefits Insurance Program

This is a CWCF program which is available to individuals who are CoopZone members, too.

The Co-operators Member Benefits Program for CWCF Members offers exclusive insurance coverages and savings--


CWCF has worked together with The Co-operators to create a new CWCF Member Benefits Program, for members of CWCF as well as their members and workers. Please read below to review the insurance coverages and savings that are available. The types of insurance which you can obtain through this new program are: travel medical, auto, home, group insurance (medical / dental / disability / life), and farm insurance. To learn more, contact The Co-operators directly and identify yourself as a member of (or with a member of) CWCF.


Why choose The Co-operators?

The Co-operators has over 65 years of history as a co-operative. Its focus extends beyond increasing profits and share values, to a concern for satisfying the needs of clients, Member-Owners (including CWCF), staff members and communities. The Co-operators is offering CWCF members exclusive coverages and savings including:


Discounted travel insurance Members can purchase travel medical insurance plans and receive a 15% discount. There is no age limit and coverage is available worldwide 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call 1-800-958-8210 for more information.


Auto and home insurance service fee savings Waiver of service fees on home and auto insurance for members paying by pre-authorized debit from a bank account.


Enhanced home insurance coverage Claims Forgiveness, and availability of Enviroguard and Better Limits for Members' home insurance endorsements.


Farm and home member loss experience discounts These discounts are applied on renewing Co-operators farm and home insurance policies when member group claims experience has been favourable.


Medical/dental/life/disability A competitive group insurance plan offering medical, dental, life and disability coverage. If for a group of three or more people, please contact Hazel Corcoran at CWCF for a referral (, or 1-403-276-8250). If for one or two people, you can access the Member Health Advantage program by reviewing the following website for more detail and an online quote -, or please call 1-888-761-7851 for more information.


Enhanced farm insurance coverage Available on Co-operators farm insurance policies, this benefit gives you 24 additional coverage options and increased policy limits. This additional protection is valued at $300, but is available for a cost of only $25.


To get access to this Member Benefits program, generally you work with a local Co-operators Advisor, and must identify yourself as a CWCF member.   Contact your local Co-operators Advisor today to learn more. In addition, for travel insurance and medical/dental/life/disability (for one or two people), you can call one of the toll-free numbers above. For general information on the program, visit


Group benefit plans underwritten by Co-operators Life Insurance Company.


Travel insurance is administered by TIC Travel Insurance Coordinators Ltd., underwritten by companies within member companies of The Co-operators Group Limited.


The National Co-op Challenge is back!

Le lien pour la version fran�aise suit. 


Find out how your co-op can win a share of $200,000!


For the third consecutive year, The Co-operators will distribute a total of $200,000 to eight emerging and expanding co-operatives across Canada. This online contest gives co-ops a chance to win valuable prizes aimed at growing their businesses while increasing their exposure.


How does it work?

From May 5 to May 30, 2014, co-ops submit an electronic application and then a panel of judges will narrow the list to 16 finalists. Next, each finalist will produce a creative video up to 90-seconds long that highlights their co-op and commitment to the co-op business model. Each video will be available on the contest website from September 3 - October 1, 2014, where co-op fans can vote for their favourite to win. The contest will be promoted on The Co-operators Facebook and Twitter sites.


Several chances to win!

In total, there will be eight prizes distributed in four regions across the country: West, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic.


Two co-ops from each region will receive $25,000 in cash funding!

  • $500 will be provided to the eight finalists who are not one of the major prize winners.
  • Every finalist will be invited to participate in a consultation session aimed at growing their business.

 Winners will be announced during National Co-op Week on October 17, 2014.


Are you up for the challenge?

An important part of being a co-op is connecting to other co-ops, encouraging them to grow and getting more Canadians involved with co-ops. After successful contests in 2012 and 2013, The Co-operators is pleased to give emerging and expanding co-ops a stronger voice in their communities.


We hope you will apply or spread the word to other co-ops!



Ontario Government and CHF Canada Stop the Stealing of a Cooperative
By David J. Thompson

The article is from the Spring 2014 newsletter issue of the US-based National Association of Housing Co-operatives. Click here to read the full article.

ICA Guidance Notes Consultation Process

Under the auspices of the Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade, the Principles Committee is leading the drafting of Guidance Notes - interpretation aids for the Cooperative Principles.  


Please read the draft guidance notes, share them in your networks, discuss them, and send your comments to Hanan El-Youssef, Strategy Manager at by 15 May 2014.


Please visit this link to download the guidance documents.

CMC Launch April 1, 2014 and AGM-Congress 2014 in Moncton

Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC) is a national, bilingual association that represents more than 18 million co-operative members from 9,000 co-operatives. CMC allows the co-op movement in Canada to speak with a single voice, and it was officially launched on April 1, 2014. To find out more about CMC visit their website here   



The 2014 Congress is making its way to New Brunswick

Join us in Moncton, New Brunswick for the 2014 Congress on June 16-19; be part of the celebration and join hundreds of Canadian co-operators to listen, to learn and to shape the future of co-operatives and mutuals in Canada and their contribution and influence around the world. Click here for more information.


Joignez-vous � nous au Nouveau-Brunswick!


Joignez-vous � nous du 16 au 19 juin � Moncton, au Nouveau-Brunswick, dans le cadre du Congr�s 2014. Prenez part � la c�l�bration et joignez-vous � des centaines d'autres coop�rateurs canadiens qui �coutent, s'�duquent et donnent forme � l'avenir des coop�ratives et mutuelles au Canada et � leurs contributions sur la sc�ne mondiale. Cliquez ici pour plus d'information.  

Quebec co-operatives bridge two solitudes

 Quebec's giant co-operatives reach out to English-speaking counterparts  


CBC covers the creation of the new Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada apex organization.

Click here to read/listen to this report. 

Parliamentarians hold inaugural All-Party Co-operative Caucus meeting

La version fran�aise suit


March 25th marked the inaugural meeting of the first All-Party Co-operative Caucus on Parliament Hill. The purpose of the All-Party Co-operative Caucus is to discuss and support policies directly affecting co-operative enterprises. The objectives of the All-Party Caucus are to promote the co-operative movement, to contribute to its development and to facilitate exchange and dialogue between parliamentarians and the co-operative sector stakeholders. Click here to find out more.  


Les Parlementaires tiennent la r�union inaugurale du Caucus multipartite sur les coop�ratives

Cliquez ici pour en savoir plus

CDF Gratitude Report 2014!
This March, the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF) has published a Gratitude  Report. It's an update on an important campaign launched in 2012 to raise $12 million over four years to Build a Better World. Since then, the campaign has raised over $5 million in donations and pledges towards reaching its goal. -


See more at:  


International Summit of Co-operatives 
A Number of Renowned Speakers Lined Up for the Summit!


The 2014 International Summit of Cooperatives will welcome over 150 international experts to share with participants their vision, knowledge, and perspective on challenges and future prospects facing cooperative and mutual enterprises.  
See the line-up of speakers here.  


CoopZone is a network of people and organizations which help others to start and develop co-operatives.  
Please send any comments, suggestions and ideas for articles to: 


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