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August, 2019 Executive Director Report

By Hazel Corcoran In this report, I’ll focus on CWCF’s upcoming Conference and our technical assistance grant program.  The report also includes a brief update about our video with Noam Chomsky, CWCF’s upcoming website overhaul, our recent staff meeting, and GM Oshawa. Plans are well underway for CWCF’s annual Conference, with the theme of Building Resilient Communities, to be held in Tatamagouche, NS on October 24th – 26th.  We are excited about the program.  We will be welcoming Hannah Martin, a Mi’kmaw woman from the traditional, unceded territory of Taqamiju’jk (Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia) as our keynote speaker.  She will speak on the challenges of climate change and of First Nations communities.  Other sessions will cover topics including: Member Peer Coaching, facilitated by Eric Tusz-King and Kaye Grant, Building Your Co-op’s Financial Viability, facilitated by Peter Hough, The Social and Solidarity Economy, and Worker Co-ops, with Sonja Novkovic, of the Co-op…

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Report from the Executive Director, June 2019

By Hazel Corcoran CWCF has had a full May and June.  Areas of significant focus have been to co-organize and hold the Quebec Worker Co-op Summit on June 17, and to continue planning for CWCF’s Conference in Tatamagouche, NS, to be held on Oct. 24 – 26.   See separate articles for both.  Further, our technical assistance grants are being placed; see the article on one of them, in the Ecosystem Collective Co-operative.  On May 9, I led a one-hour webinar on implementation of CWCF’s Strategic Plan.  There were some excellent ideas shared by participants, including focusing on convening worker co-ops in local areas for the purpose of helping co-ops solve challenges.  Another was to have a set of Loomio topics on practical issues, such as conflict resolution, engaging worker co-op members, etc.  In terms of building a member engagement strategy, it was noted that engaging with CWCF needs to be…

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Over 50 Co-operators Gather for Summit in Quebec City

by Hazel Corcoran, CWCF Executive Director With the theme of “Meeting Worker Co-op Challenges of 2019”, over 50 co-operators gathered for the Worker Co-op Summit in Quebec City on June 17 (photos are available here).   It was a rare and special opportunity for members of worker co-ops belonging to the Quebec Forestry Co-op Federation, Quebec Paramedic Co-op Federation, Réseau COOP and CWCF to be able to meet and learn from each other.  Guest speakers included US FWC Executive Director Esteban Kelly by live video conference; Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC) Executive Director André Beaudry; Conseil de la coopération et de la mutualité (CQCM) Executive Director Gaston Bédard; and (on pre-recorded video), Noam Chomsky.  The main themes explored via panels were worker co-op governance; the motivations to join a worker co-op; and federation services, with guest speakers covering other topics.  To kick off the day, the three Quebec Federations (Forestry, Paramedics,…

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Upcoming Conferences of Interest

The joint Conference of the Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operatives (CASC), Association of Co-op Educators (ACE), and the International Co-op Alliance Research Conference will take place in Montreal, May 27-30, and Kaye Grant will participate on behalf of CWCF.   The theme is Co-operative Entrepreneurship, and more information is available here:  http://www.coopresearch.coop/registration-now-open-for-casc-ace-ica-2019-conference-platforme-dinscription-disponible-pour-conference-de-casc-ace-ica-2019/  The Congress of Co-operatives & Mutuals Canada will be in Quebec City, June 18 – 20th.  Additional information is available here in English, and ici en français. Reba Plummer will be CWCF’s delegate, and Hazel Corcoran will also be participating on behalf of The Co-operators.  CWCF has presented a resolution that the CMC membership take a position on fair tax treatment for co-operatives with indivisible reserves.  CWCF encourages its members and others to attend these Conferences.

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Report from the Executive Director, April 2019

Hazel Corcoran It is very exciting and energizing to be working under CWCF’s new Strategic Plan. The two main areas of focus are to Engage and Support our Members, and to Build Awareness and Scale Up Worker Co-ops, including collaborating with our members in the Solidarity Economy.  Thanks especially to significant member feedback, we have the sense that we are on the right path, and that we’re on the path together.  I’ll lead a one-hour webinar re: the new Strategic Plan on May 9th, at noon Eastern Time.  To RSVP, please click on this link.   In keeping with this new Strategic Plan, I am traveling more to meet with worker co-op members, and to help raise the profile of the worker co-op movement in the Solidarity Economy.  I attended and spoke on a panel early in March for a well-attended screening of the film A Silent Transformation in Toronto.…

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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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CWCF seeking Administration and Bookkeeping Support Staffperson, Kentville, NS

Nov. 10, 2015: CWCF seeks to fill a temporary RRSP Administration & Bookkeeping Support position, available immediately. The position will be part-time (16 hrs/ week) until the end of December, and will be full-time (35 hrs/ week) from January 1 – March 31, 2016. After March, 2016 the position will again be part-time, hours to be determined. Administrator_Bookkeeper job ad_fnl

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Canada’s worker co-ops mourn the loss of co-op pioneer Mark Goldblatt

Canada’s worker co-operative movement is deeply saddened by the loss of CWCF’s Past President Mark Goldblatt, who died on Tuesday, February 3rd of an apparent heart attack. “Mark’s contributions to building the worker co-operative movement in Canada were instrumental in building the movement, and its national Federation,” said Hazel Corcoran, Executive Director of the Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation (CWCF). His outstanding qualities were his vision, intellect, dedication to co-operation, generosity, humility, sense of humour and fun, integrity, commitment, perseverance and inability to be uncaring or mean to anyone, in other words a sort of radical kindness. Mark Goldblatt’s personal engagement with co-operatives reflects the dynamism and innovation that have characterized the co-operative movement in Canada throughout its history. Although we have lost a great co-op champion, Mark planted many seeds which have grown and are growing into lasting co-operative organizations. Mark, as a member of Sound Advice Worker Co-op, joined the Board…

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