By Kenzie Love and Hazel Corcoran
CWCF’s Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) is coming up November 13th at noon Eastern Time. In a change from past years, it will be entirely virtual which is of course due to the continuing pandemic. While we regret that we’re unable to hold our in-person Conference — which the AGM is normally a part of — this year, the virtual AGM does offer an opportunity to exercise one of our co-op principles: democratic member control. Although the in-person Conference is always a highlight of the year, at least one advantage to the AGM being virtual is that it is very much affordable, with no registration fee or travel and accommodation costs.
Participating in the AGM is one of the more important ways CWCF’s members can actively participate in the organization, by electing new directors to the board, approving the financial statements, and generally staying abreast of and sharing what’s happened over the past year and what’s to come. Our Federation will only be as successful as our members make it through their engagement and commitment. Non-members are also welcome to attend.
The CWCF has a delegate voting process at its general meetings. Each member can be represented by one delegate, although we encourage additional members of a member to attend. Every Regular Member (which can be a Worker Co-op or a Multi-stakeholder Co-op) can be represented by one delegate. The Associate Member, Worker Co-op Developer Member and Regional Federation Member classes each have up to five delegates, also one per member. If there are more delegates than allowed at a meeting in any member class, CWCF will inform the delegates of that class and ask that they choose among themselves which ones are the voting delegates. This is the reason that we ask everyone to register several days in advance of the meeting.
Serving as a delegate at the AGM is one way to participate, but it’s not the only way. If you haven’t already done so, perhaps you might consider running for our board (there being two at-large positions coming up for election and open primarily to members of worker co-ops, with neither incumbent running again), or serving on one of our committees such as the next Conference Planning Committee. Current board and committee members have found these are great ways to shape the Federation’s work and build connections within Canada’s worker co-op sector, and we’re confident you’ll feel the same.
The ability to work within a democratic environment is one of the main draws for employment in a worker co-op, and by the same token, the ability to exercise democratic control within CWCF is one of the key benefits of belonging to the Federation. We hope to see you at the virtual AGM.