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Model By-Laws: Multi-stakeholder Co-operative (under the Quebec Co-operatives Act)

The Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation acknowledges that the “Ministère de l’Industrie et du Commerce, Direction des coopératives,” the Government of Quebec’s Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Co-operative Directorate is the drafter of this document, which originally appeared in French as part of their publication Coopérative de solidarité:  Constitution, Organisation, Fonctionnement, 1999.  We are grateful for their permission to translate and re-print this document.  Further, the Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation gratefully acknowledges the support of Heritage Canada in the translation of this document. The document can be downloaded here: Solidarity co-op bylaw

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Worker-Owned Cooperatives in Marginalized Communities: Incompatibility and Innovation

Worker-Owned Cooperatives in Marginalized Communities: Incompatibility and Innovation By Princie Reza  Supervised by Justin Podur A Major Paper submitted to the Faculty of Environmental Studies in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree in Master in Environmental Studies, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. July 2017 This paper examines the sufficiency of the worker cooperative model in addressing precarious employment within marginalized communities with a specific focus on immigrant and low-income South Asian immigrant women in Ontario. Worker-Owned Cooperatives in Marginalized Communities:

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Culture (including indigenous culture) and Social Change

This paper by Greg O’Neill discusses, among other things, the commonalities between Inuit traditional knowledge (or Inuit Quajimajatuqangit (IQ), similar to other indigenous traditions) and the co-operative movement’s values and principles.  It begins: “One of the most significant recent developments in redrawing the geo-political map of Canada was the creation of the Nunavut Territory. I am fortunate enough to have been involved in the Co-operative Movement in Arctic Canada for some time and have had the chance to work with the remarkable people of Nunavut. As the Inuit of Nunavut have moved towards establishing their identity as a separate territory in Canada, they have looked to the elders of their society to provide guidance in how that should be done. A truly remarkable piece of work has been completed recently in Nunavut that is the collection, through interviews with elders, of Inuit traditional knowledge or Inuit Quajimajatuqangit (IQ). This term…

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Technical Assistance Program Information

[Also available in French; aussi disponible en français.] CWCF Technical Assistance Program  The Canadian Worker Co-op Federation (“CWCF”) offers small grants, through our accumulated reserves, to worker co-operatives to help pay for consulting services such as marketing, financial administration, expansion, conflict resolution or legal issues. For start-ups, co-op conversions, and expansions, grants can cover pre-feasibility studies (a preliminary assessment of the viability of your idea), project plans (a description of the steps required to take your idea from the conceptual stage to the concrete), by-law development, or other work required. The grants cover consulting services provided by members of the CoopZone Co-operative Developers’ Network, or by other consultants upon approval. In addition, CWCF can assist developing worker co-ops by directing you to other sources of support for business planning and organizational development. The program has 2 components: (1) the Grant Program, and (2) the CWCF Staff Consultation Program. Worker co-ops…

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Indivisible Reserve

CWCF: Indivisible Reserve What is an Indivisible Reserve? An indivisible reserve in a worker co-op is property owned by the co-operative/the co-operative movement which can never be divided among members.  It is created by allocating a set percentage (e.g., 20% or 40%) of annual surpluses to the indivisible reserve. Who “owns” the capital in the reserve?  It is permanent co-operative capital, and is notionally seen as the value of the common effort of the members. As long as the co-op is operating as a co-op, it can use the indivisible reserve like any other retained earnings.  In other words, this reserve can be controlled by the members, but not accessed by them for distribution to themselves individually.  “Indivisible” means that if the co-op ceases to exist as a co-operative (e.g., because it is wound up, or sold), the reserve will go to a co-op development fund, a federation or another…

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