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Webinar: The Social and Solidarity Economy (“SSE”) and Worker Co-ops

Fri, 28 February 2020 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM MST Co-ops inevitably overlap with other movements and in this webinar we will explore how worker co-ops fit into the Social and Solidarity Economy and with social enterprises. We invite participants to come with ideas of how to better partner in these spaces for mutual benefit, and will have shared with CWCF some ideas on how CWCF can partner for the benefit of the worker co-op movement. Given that collaboration with the social and solidarity economy is a significant aspect of our strategic plan, we would like to provide the opportunity for more members to attend this session.  This presentation is quite similar to what was offered at our fall Conference.   Here are a few comments from the Conference session: “With her vantage point as chair of the International Co-op Alliance Research Committee, Sonja explains this important topic with clarity and…

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2020 CWCF Membership Renewal Is Open

These are exciting times for CWCF.  We’ve begun implementing our strategic plan, and we’re already starting to see results in a number of areas, from working to grow our Tenacity Works Investment Fund, to partnering with Green Jobs Oshawa on a feasibility study for a worker-owned electric vehicle production facility at the old GM plant. We’re also working on implementing the Parcours worker co-op startup training program, and we recently concluded a successful conference in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia. Meanwhile, we’re already looking ahead to the 2020 conference in Vancouver. In short, we’ve been busy. While these may be exciting times for CWCF, we’re aware of the challenges currently facing both worker co-ops and society as a whole: rising unemployment, precarious employment, growing income inequality, the impacts of the climate crisis, and more. But these are challenges to which the worker co-op movement is well-positioned to respond. Through building equality and…

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What If We had an Antidote to Worker Co-ops Selling out? The case for indivisible reserves in worker co-operatives

By Hazel Corcoran I read with great concern about the sale of New Belgium Brewery to Kirin-owned Lion Little World Beverages.  The concern is not only for the loss of this ESOP, as disappointing as that is.  Rather, it is because we know that every ESOP, worker co-operative and enterprise in the solidarity economy is vulnerable to the same fate.  Humans being what we are, sometimes when a collective enterprise becomes very successful after years of blood, sweat (equity), and tears, it is hard to resist the temptation to cash out as the opportunity presents itself.  A similar situation unfolded with Careforce Home Care Worker Co-op of Kentville, Nova Scotia, now Careforce Inc.  The Co-op converted from a conventional business to a worker co-op in 2008, with a loan and other support from the Canadian Worker Co-op Federation (CWCF).   It was our poster child for business succession to a worker…

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Worker Co-op Meet & Greet (and Free Dinner*) CWCF is coming to Edmonton!

Soirée de réseautage pour coops de travail La FCCT vient à Edmonton!** Worker Co-ops in the Edmonton area are invited to a Meet-&-Greet to get (re)acquainted with CWCF Executive Director Hazel Corcoran & CWCF Board member Yvonne Chiu (MCHB Co-op), meet each other, & share stories & resources.  Date: Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020 at 5:30–7 pm (optional dinner), & 7-9 pm (Meet & Greet) Location:  Surinder’s Suite, Multicultural Health Brokers’ Co-op (MCHB) Office, Edmonton Intercultural Center (9538 – 107 Avenue – McCauley School site) Directions: Please kindly come to either the door at the back of the school building from the parking lots, or the Girls’ Entrance at the front of the school.  Each of these doors has a buzzer for gaining entrance. The office is on the main floor at the end of the hallway to your left.  Please contact Yvonne at (780) 710-1577 if you have difficulties finding Surinder’s…

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Remembering Two Pioneers in Quebec’s Forestry Industry

By Chloé Lemon and Dany Rousseau Within the span of two weeks, Quebec’s forestry industry lost two notable people. On November 23 Jean-Yves Lévesque, founder of the newspaper Le monde forestier, passed away, followed by Gérard Paris, first president of RESAM, on December 9. In 1987, Jean-Yves Lévesque founded the newspaper which would later become Le monde forestier or the “Forest World”. At the time, he had the idea of ​​taking a newsletter from the Quebec Forestry Cooperatives “Conference” or CCFQ”(now Quebec Federation of Forestry Co-ops or “FQCF”, a CWCF member) and publishing it in the form of a newspaper. Thus was born The Forest Co-operator, the predecessor of the Forest World. Initially, Mr. Lévesque took care of everything: he visited all the cooperatives. He managed the local collaborators, advertising, salespeople, and a part-time graphic designer who worked for the newspaper. For a while the office was in his house. …

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Board Member Profile: Frank Bezanson-Harris

CWCF is pleased to welcome Frank Bezanson Harris to its board of directors, acclaiming him as a director-at-large at its AGM. Frank has been with Just Us! Coffee Roasters Co-op for over 16 years, and a member of its board of directors for much of that time. He has also served on the board of the Wolfville Farmers Market, a nonprofit co-op, for much of that time, currently serving as its vice president.  Frank’s experience with Just Us! has convinced him that membership in CWCF is an important part of its success. He’s found in connecting with nearby co-ops that they often have answers to problems Just Us! has faced, and he hopes to continue fostering this collaboration. “Being in the Atlantic provinces and being in a small town, you can be very isolated,” he says. “Being involved in CWCF offers the opportunity to network and share resources with people…

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Directors and Officers Liability, and Insurance Solutions

Please join us when Jillian Rudolph, Associate Insurance Advisor, and Manon Monette, Strategic Client Manager, both with The Co-operators, will be hosting a webinar on Directors’ and Officers’ Liability, and to describe the advantages and features of various types of insurance available to CWCF members through The Co-operators, including for D&O Liability insurance coverage. Read more…

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Worker Co-ops and the Social and Solidarity Economy

by Kenzie Love Strengthening ties to the social and solidarity economy (SSE) is a key part of CWCF’s strategic plan. But what exactly is the SSE, how do worker co-ops fit into it, and how can they best collaborate with it? And what about social enterprises? Here’s a start at answering these questions. What is the solidarity economy? As Emily Kawano observes, “defining the solidarity economy can be challenging. Definitions vary across place, time, politics, and happenstance, though there is increasingly a broad common understanding.” Although, as Kawano notes, there is some variation on how the principles of the solidarity economy are articulated, the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network uses these five principles: solidarity, cooperation, mutualismequity in all dimensions (e.g., race, ethnicity, nationality, class, and gender, etc.)participatory democracysustainabilitypluralism In accordance with these principles, the solidarity economy seeks to create an economic system based on collaboration — or solidarity — rather than…

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Executive Director’s Report, December 2019

December 18, 2019 New CWCF Look and Website Coming in 2020 / Connecting with Members / Vancouver Region WC Business Succession Project / WC Start-up Training Program  – Parcours COOP (Toronto) / Reconfirming Fall 2020 Conference Dates, & more! CWCF is excited to be working with the Montreal-based, bilingual team of social justice-focused LOKI Design and Fair Trade Media on our new logo, visual identity and website.  This is a critical, creative part of CWCF’s Strategic Plan and we are keen to share these elements with all of you in the new year. Given the challenge for our board and staff to reach consensus on the new look, the project launch has had some delays – but we believe you will find it was worth the wait!  In early 2020, we will again start to reach out to Worker Co-op members and Regional Federation members to check in via phone…

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Expressing Solidarity With the Chilean People

As a response to the human rights situation in Chile and encouraged by TRASOL – the Chilean Federation of Worker Co-operatives – CWCF has written a letter which will go to the Chilean Embassy in Ottawa, the Canadian government and to TRASOL. CWCF also encourages members to write their own letters expressing solidarity with the Chilean people. (Note that this letter is available in Spanish upon request to the Executive Director. ) Letter from CWCF

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