About

At the CWCF, our vision is…

To be a growing, cohesive network of democratically-controlled worker co-ops that provide a high quality of worklife, and support the development of healthy and sustainable local economies, based on cooperative principles.

Our mission is to…

  • Strengthen our worker co-ops;
  • Support the development of new worker co-ops;
  • Represent the Canadian worker co-op movement in Canada and internationally;
  • and Strengthen the Federation.

Background

At a meeting in February of 1990, representatives of worker cooperatives from across Canada came together for the first time to discuss whether there was a need for developing a national organization to represent their interests. Although worker co-ops had been on the agenda with the Canadian Cooperative Association and the Cooperatives Secretariat, which saw them as having the potential to lead a new wave of co-op development, worker co-operators themselves had little input on the national level and only marginal communication among themselves. It was clear after a couple of days of meetings that there was an opportunity that could only be met by forming a national organization. Further discussion led to outlining the following objects to guide the Canadian Worker Cooperative Federation (CWCF), which was founded the following year in the spring of 1991, in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

Our Objectives

To work for the development and expansion of businesses organized according to co-op principles and the principles of worker ownership and control, and to promote the ideals of democracy in the work place.

To provide leadership and a voice for worker co-ops through:

  • Creating a vision and a strategy for the development of worker co-ops in Canada;
  • Representing the interests of worker co-ops to the co-op sector, governments, other organizations and the public;
  • Creating and maintaining adequate resources for the development of existing and new worker
  • Co-ops, both alone and in cooperation with others;
  • Increasing support for, and understanding of, worker co-ops;
  • Providing forums for networking between worker co-ops and support for regional and
  • Industrial actions on appropriate issues; and
  • Encouraging the development of worker co-ops internationally.

The CWCF has carried out its activities on a very modest budget and, for the first two years, entirely through a volunteer Board of Directors. Since then, an Executive Director has been employed to manage daily operations and coordinate volunteer efforts of the Board of Directors and others. And in 2000, a Fund Manager was  hired to manage our worker co-op development fund.  Starting in 2010, a Communications Manager was also hired. That position is now called Communications and Executive Assistant.  The CWCF has been financed through member and associate dues, fees for service contracts, and donations from supporting organizations.

CWCF Award Winners

The Mark Goldblatt Worker Co-op Merit Award

Worker Co-op Best Practices Award

Year Name Name
2015 Isabel Faubert Mailloux Les Constructions Ensemble
2014 Kevin Thompson (posthumously) Careforce Worker Co-operative
2013 Lynn Hannley Dominion Newspaper/Media Co-op
2012 Alain Roy
2010 Marty Frost
2009 David Daughton
2008 SEED Winnipeg
2007 Mark Goldblatt
2006 Multicultural Health Brokers Co-op
2005 Peter Cameron
2004 Gilles Tardif
2003 N/A
2002 Louise Champagne
2001 Jack Quarter
2000 N/A
1999 Peter Hough
1998 Ron Grant