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London Brewing Releases Certified Organic Beers

With the release of two organic beers London Brewing becomes one of two independent craft breweries in Ontario who are certified to brew organic beer. The London Organic Lager is now available in local LCBOs and Beer Stores and the Front Porch Organic Session IPA will be hitting shelves before the end of November. These beers are also available on tap and in the brewery’s retail store at 521 Burbrook Place. With the motto of “worker-owned, locally grown”, the brewery has been leading the way in producing environmentally-friendly brews made with ingredients grown in Ontario. With the introduction of two certified organic beers they are giving more options to Londoners interested in making sustainable choices in their lives. What’s more, even if organic and local don’t pique the interest of all customers, the taste of the quality ingredients certainly will. As Jeff Pastorius, Sales Manager notes, “Most people haven’t tasted…

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Technical Assistance Program Accepting Applications

The Canadian Worker Co-op Federation (CWCF) offers grants to assist worker co-ops that are, or agree to become, members of CWCF to hire a co-op developer or other professional to help with a challenge that the co-op is facing. Assistance can be sought in any area needed such as marketing, financial administration, governance, conflict resolution, legal issues, etc.  There are currently several grants of up to $3500 available, and we encourage members — or prospective members — to apply for them. Recent recipients of the grants have put them to use in a wide range of areas. West Arm Woodworking, a fledgling co-op in Nelson, BC, sought the grant for assistance in drafting liability waivers for use of its workshop. The co-op worked with Vancouver lawyer Mary Childs to create the waivers, which worker-owner Danielle Soucie says was a crucial part of their operations. “It was definitely necessary and we’re…

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Rapport sur la journée bilingue de CoopZone/ Report on CoopZone’s Bilingual Day

Par / by Amine El Hafa **English version follows.** La journée bilingue de CoopZone a été un franc succès. Pour cette année, CoopZone a pensé environnement et énergie renouvelable. Les sujets abordés ont eu bonne presse auprès des participants du fait de leur diversité et complémentarité. On a parlé d’économie circulaire, la coopération et notre avenir, la succession d’entreprises par le modèle coopératif et de financement pour les coops. On a également eu la chance de découvrir davantage sur la coopérative North Nova Forest Owners Co-op Ltd, basée à Wentworth N.-É., qui œuvre à améliorer la qualité et la valeur de nos boisés. Tout cela dans une ambiance chaleureuse et décontractée. On pense déjà à notre prochaine conférence!  The bilingual CoopZone day was a great success. For this year, CoopZone covered primarily the environment and renewable energy. The topics were well received by the participants because of their diversity and…

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Worker Co-op Intensive Report: Human Issues in a Worker Co-op

Stephen Law presents on conflict management This day started out with great anticipation and enthusiasm and it didn’t disappoint.  The session was facilitated by Quebec board member, Jessica Provencher, who started the day off with a survey of who was in the room.  Then we got right into things with Stephen Law  who has extensive experience in mediation and conflict.  Stephen started us off with getting everyone lined up on the basis of how comfortable we are with dealing with conflict.  It was interesting to see people gathered at both ends (very comfortable to not at all comfortable) with a few people in the middle.  Overall the participants in attendance felt that conflict can be generative and bring positive outcomes but not everyone feels that they have the tools to deal with conflict.  Stephen pointed out that there are four forces at play in conflict, with the acronym FEAR (Freedom,…

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Building Resilient Communities: CWCF-CoopZone Conference 2019

By Kenzie Love and Hazel Corcoran CWCF concluded a successful conference in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, which offered both valuable new insights in forums and workshops and the familiar social and networking opportunities participants have come to expect. The conference kicked off with a land acknowledgement, welcoming remarks by CWCF President Reba Plummer and CoopZone President Pascal Billard, and an icebreaking activity in which participants shared in small groups and played “human bingo.”   We next moved on to the two all-day intensive sessions. Feedback on the “Human Issues in a Worker Co-op” Intensive was very positive; please see separate article on this session.  Amine El Hafa, Senior Development Officer with the Cooperation Council of Ontario, commented on the CoopZone Developers’ Network Intensive that “Participants appreciated the topics discussed because of their diversity and complementarity. We talked about the circular economy, cooperation and our future, the succession of businesses through the cooperative…

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CWCF AGM News

By Kaye Grant At our recent AGM in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, the board election was held.  CWCF has three new board members: Frank Bezanson-Harris from Just Us Coffee Roasters Co-op in Grand Pré, NS (At-Large Director), Jessica Valentine from Woodshop Workers Co-op of Vancouver (BC/Yukon Director – completing a term, for two years) and Evan Proven of Sun Certified Builders Co-op in Winnipeg (Prairies/NWT/NU Director).  In an innovative development, some of the roles of the BC seat will be shared with Sandra Allen of Shift Delivery Co-op, also in Vancouver.  Welcome and congratulations!  The continuing board members are: Reba Plummer (Ontario), Eric Tusz-King (Atlantic), Jessica Provencher (Quebec), and Yvonne Chiu (At-large). We wish to extend heartfelt thanks to our outgoing board members, Yuill Herbert, Rick Proven and Ian Marsh for their valuable work on our board.  CWCF greatly appreciates their many contributions.  At the AGM, we thanked each of them…

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Employment Opportunity with SSG

Position: Business Development and Communications Coordinator Organization: Sustainability Solutions Group Workers Cooperative GENERAL DESCRIPTION The purpose of this position is to coordinate SSG’s business development and communications activities. The Coordinator will perform many diverse tasks, including leading the RFP monitoring and proposal writing process, researching new business opportunities, maintaining SSG’s customer relationship management (CRM) software, and managing SSG’s web and social media presence. The Coordinator will work with SSG Principals and staff to ensure that SSG’s efforts align with the goals in its business development and communications strategies, updating the strategies where required. https://www.goodwork.ca/jobs/business-development-and-communications-jobs-55096

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Perspective from the Board Chair of the Co-operators

By John Harvie On October 25th and 26th, I had the opportunity to attend the CWCF annual conference and AGM. I attended along with Alexandra Wilson and Wendy Carruthers. Also attending in their CWCF positions were The Co-operators Board members, Hazel Corcoran, Reba Plummer, and Jessica Provencher. We were recognized as regular partners in many areas and as sponsors of this conference. The Co- operators got plenty of notice and appreciation. I will begin with the AGM. The CWCF has just embarked on an ambitious new 4 year strategic plan. Both the President/Chair Reba Plummer, and the Executive Director Hazel Corcoran, in their reports to the assembly, made reference to the hard work and dedication of Board and staff that went into the creation of this plan. Quote, “our plan calls for CWCF to take some risks, negotiate new partnerships, and find new sources of funding.” Quote, “The plan maps…

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2019 AGM Documents

Below are the files related to CWCF’s 2019 AGM in Tatamagouche.  We regret that these documents are available only in English.  / Nous regrettons que de ces documents ne soient disponibles qu’en anglais. Si vous avez besoin d’aide pour comprendre la langue, consultez en français s’il vous plaît avec la directrice générale Hazel Corcoran, hazel@canadianworker.coop.  Merci. AGM agenda 2018 AGM draft minutes CWCF 2019 financial statements 2019 form for resolutions Proposed bylaw resolution CWCF 2019-20 Budget Annual Report Board candidate bios Evan Proven Frank Bezanson-Harris

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Climate Leadership through Electric Vehicle Production in Oshawa

By Hazel Corcoran CWCF and Green Jobs Oshawa funded a preliminary feasibility study on transitioning to electric vehicle (EV) production under democratic ownership at the GM plant in Oshawa.  After having received over $10.8 billion in federal and Ontario government bail-outs in 2009, some of which was never repaid, GM Canada announced last year that it would close the plant in Oshawa in December 2019 terminating 2,500 jobs in the plant, with estimates as high as 20,000 total jobs lost including multiplier jobs.   The feasibility study, written by Russ Christianson and released at a public forum in Oshawa on September 19th concludes that converting the plant to EV production is possible.  Significant government investment and procurement including for Canada Post vehicles would be required.  Green Jobs Oshawa is in favour of democratic public ownership, which CWCF has advocated should include a meaningful element of worker and community control.  Converting this…

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