March 2019
Special Newsletter
Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation
 La Fédération canadienne des coopératives de travail
In This Issue
Film Screening: A Silent Transformation

Time:  Thursday, March 7 - 5:30 - 8 p.m.

Location: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Nexus Lounge

Drop in for a screening of A Silent Transformation, a film about the transformative power of the co-operative enterprise model. Discussion to follow featuring University of Toronto professor Marcelo Vieta, filmmaker Anton Smolski, and CWCF's Executive Director, Hazel Corcoran. Free to attend, no registration required.

More info:

 This is a film about the transformative power of the co-operative enterprise model. 

The co-operative movement was built by people who took on the responsibility for 
their collective well being in the face of government neglect, economic exclusion 
and cultural discrimination. As the modern economy increasingly denies vast sectors of the population basic amenities for decent life, this co-operative spirit is as critical as ever. However, over the years the co-op sector has become poorly understood.

A Silent Transformation sets out to explore the innovative self-help efforts of 
different communities across the Province of Ontario. By addressing their needs 
collectively they are helping to regain the radical vision of co-operation. In these communities are the seeds of economic democracy, global solidarity, 
and a new popular movement to transform society! 

Will it grow and flourish?

Call for Expression of Interest to Offer Webinars for CWCF Worker Co-op Members

As part of our member benefit offerings CWCF has started offering more regular webinars that help strengthen our member co-operatives.  

We are seeking experienced worker co-op members and co-op developers to offer a variety of webinars to our members.   Webinars run for 90 minutes, approximately half of which would be presentation and half for discussion, and are typically booked mid-day (ET) on weekdays.  We offer compensation of $400 (plus GST/HST if applicable) for each webinar.  Webinars are offered via our Zoom platform.  We do all the related marketing and planning.  All you need to do is provide your materials (slides) at least one week in advance and deliver the training on the agreed-upon date.  Webinars are recorded for use by those attending and/or other members.  We will post the slides on our web site. 
We have a list of topics that we wish to offer below but are open to other suggestions.
  1. Personnel Policies in Worker Co-ops (e.g. hiring, termination procedures, compensation, evaluation, member probation and admission policies, EI rules);
  2. Growing Your Worker Co-op's Sales:  including marketing, quality products / services, and customer service; 
  3. Worker Co-op Member Engagement:  Increasing Member Participation;
  4. Decision-making in a Worker Co-op.
Your expression of interest will include:
  • Your name, and if applicable, the co-operative or organization you are connected with,
  • Your topics of interest related to Worker-co-ops and/or proposals for new topics,
  • Your qualifications related to the identified topics you noted above (please attach your resume or CV if available). Be sure to include your specific worker co-op related experience/expertise.
Submissions should be emailed to Kaye Grant at by March 30, 2019.

We expect to be able to offer a minimum of five webinars over the next year and will contact people as appropriate.  We will retain your expression of interest for up to two years in our database. 

In Memory of Professor Jack Quarter (1941-2019)
It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of our colleague, friend, and mentor, Professor Jack Quarter, who passed away in the early hours of Feb. 6. Jack taught at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE), was a researcher there at its founding in 1965, became an assistant professor at OISE in 1971, and a full professor in 1988. Throughout his life, Jack was a consummate supporter of Canada's co-operative movement and social economy. At the University of Toronto, Jack was known as a dedicated researcher and a kind and generous teacher, mentor, and colleague. Beyond the university, Jack was recognized world-wide as one of the leading specialists of the social economy.
Starting with close studies of Israel's kibbutz movement and then worker co-operatives, Jack would eventually specialize in worker buyouts of firms, union-led pensions, community economic development, nonprofits, co-operatives, and social enterprises. He viewed them all as spaces and organizations that offered more ethical ways of meeting the needs of people and that directly addressed the inequities of the market system and public sector downsizing. He would eventually go on to write 12 books and over 100 journal papers and book chapters on these themes, including much of the text for the Worker Co-op magazine in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Many of these publications were collaborative efforts with colleagues and students.
In 1991, Jack helped organize and found the Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation, and soon after became an active member and president of the Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation. In 2008, he also co-founded the Association for Nonprofit and Social Economy Research, serving as its president for seven years. Securing many SSHRC grants over his career (around $7.2 million), between 2005-2010 Jack directed the SSHRC community/university research alliance on the social economy, and soon after Jack spearheaded OISEs Social Economy Centre and then the Centre for Learning, Social Economy, and Work.
Winner of several life-time achievement awards (including CASC's in 2006), the Jack Quarter Prize in Social Economy was established in 2011 in his honour by his former doctoral students and others touched by his wisdom and support in making intellectual contributions to our collective knowledge of and well-being in the social economy in Canada and around the world.

Members of Canada's worker co-op sector are among the many who have fond memories of Jack. Hazel Corcoran, CWCF's Executive Director, says:

"It was a privilege to know Jack Quarter.  He helped set the stage for what CWCF was to become.  (Which under its new strategic plan, seems to be set to scale up significantly in the near term - which I had a chance to mention to Jack on a precious phone call, mostly on how he was doing, late last year.  He was already very weak and tired.)  
"I'll always remember the day long ago when Jack handed over the archives of Worker Co-op Magazine to me, physically and metaphorically saying, 'Here. It's your turn!' Then with that impish, lovely grin of his, he took off".  (Those magazines are archived on our website here.)

Our thoughts are with his partner, Prof. Dale Willows, and family. Rest in peace, Jack.

Read Jack's obituary here, or visit for more information.

 Upcoming Worker Co-op Summit to Feature Noam Chomsky

Taking place June 17, 2019 in Quebec City, this summit  will be an unparalleled opportunity for learning, networking, and being inspired. Among the highlights will be the keynote video presentation by Noam Chomsky, considered the founder of modern linguistics and one of the most cited scholars in modern history. 

You won't want to miss a once-in-a-lifetime chance to hear from this longtime advocate of workplace democracy, public intellectual, and author of more than 100 books, his most recent being "Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power" (read his complete bio here). Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.
Update on Revised Technical Assistance Program

Whether you're an established co-op looking for help with expansions, marketing or other issues, a start-up that needs help putting its vision in action, or a business looking to convert to a co-op, CWCF is here to help through its Technical Assistance Program. CWCF offers small grants, through our accumulated reserves, to worker co-operatives, as well as start-ups and conversion. The grants cover consulting services provided by members of the CoopZone Co-operative Developers' Network, or by other consultants upon approval.  The program has changed recently, with an increased pool of money available and a new application process.

How to apply

The application form is available  here  - please review all the information carefully before applying, as well as the list of co-op developers available for consultations. Applying organizations must be members of CWCF, or willing to commit to membership for two years upon receiving a grant for start-ups.

When to apply

Although the program has had a rolling intake in the past, CWCF is now implementing deadlines, with the deadline for this fiscal year coming up April 8. CWCF has a total of $15,000 to award, with applicants eligible for a maximum grant of $3500. In the case of insufficient funds to cover all applications, CWCF will make a decision based on predetermined criteria. If there is leftover money to grant after the first deadline, CWCF will do a second intake in June. 

Criteria for awarding a grant

Applications must show that the grant requested will make a demonstrable difference to the need identified, and that this need can be met by help from the consultant selected (CWCF reserves the right to provide funding only to a consultant of its choice). CWCF also seeks geographic diversity in awarding grants.

Staff Consultation Program

In addition to the granting program, Kaye Grant, CWCF Communications Manager and a co-op developer, is available to any member co-op or start-up for telephone, Zoom or Skype consultation,  similar to the Free Consulting program held at the CWCF AGMs. Member co-operatives facing any issue may contact Kaye to discuss their situation. No application is required.

If you have questions about the program or want to schedule a consult, please email Kaye at

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